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In 1958, Sweetwater, Texas, area farmers and ranchers decided to do something about the abundant number of rattlers plaguing their livestock. Over the last 40-plus years, this annual purge has turned into the largest of its kind of with over 120 tons of western diamondback rattlesnakes “rounded up.”

People drive from all over the country and fly from around the world to see thousands of snakes captured, measured, weighed, beheaded, and skinned in the week-long event. This essay documents the 2003 Round Up.


TMN Contributing Photographer J. Geoffrey Badner is a Creative Director and Photographer who resides in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with his wife, Susan and daughter, Sasha. To see more of his work you can visit his photography portfolio at geoffbadner.com or his design portfolio at MACROSTATE. More by Geoff Badner