Fact Check

Georgia Rattlesnake

Photograph shows a rattlesnake killed in Georgia?

Published Oct 27, 2007

Claim:   Photograph shows a rattlesnake killed in Georgia.

Status:   Undetermined.

Example:   [Collected via e-mail, October 2007]

Golf Anyone?

Timber Rattler

Watch them snakes!!!!!!!

This is a Timber Rattler killed at Oakview Golf Course in Macon, GA within the last few days. Killed with a two iron on hole number 8.

This is the greens keeper pictured, the snake killer is not pictured but was said to have come across the snake looking for a lost ball.


Origins:   Similar

to another much-traveled photograph of a recently-killed, venomous snake being displayed on the end of a pole or stick thrust towards the camera, this picture has been forwarded widely via e-mail with a number of different explanations about when and where it was taken.

The earliest version we received stated that the 6-7 foot snake pictured (identified as a timber rattler) had been killed in Burke County near Augusta, Georgia, but by mid-October 2007 that version had been supplanted by one maintaining the serpent had been dispatched with a two-iron on the eighth hole of the Oakview Golf Course in Macon, Georgia.

According to the Macon Telegraph, Oakview Golf Course officials disclaimed the notion that the photograph was snapped on their links and noted that the rumor has had a deleterious effect on their business:

"I don't know where that came from," [Rick] Hill said, referring to the picture of the enormous reptile. "It's a lie that got put out on the Internet."

Hill said the snake's size has stirred fear in the community.

"I've got people calling, saying 'I won't ever come play golf with you again,'" said Hill, who owns a stake in the golf course and has developed a neighborhood of homes there. "And I've got people and their grandparents saying they are scared for their children to walk outside their house because they think there is a big old snake out there."

The e-mail has had a chilling impact, said John Wicks, the golf course's superintendent.

"I believe it has hurt our business, and it's not funny any more," he said. "It kind of shows what happens if something is untruthful and it gets put out there and how that can affect somebody's business. It shows how fast things can move (on the Internet). You just can't stop it now."

Last updated:   27 October 2007

  Sources Sources:

    Whicker, Keich.   "Oakview Rattlesnake Rumor Just an Internet Hoax."

    The [Macon] Telegraph.   24 October 2007.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

Article Tags