Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

Our WorkShort Films – Rattlesnake Roundup 

Since its beginning in 1958, the annual Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas, has caught and killed over 250,000 wild rattlesnakes. The festival’s activities include live handling demonstrations, beheadings, participatory skinning demonstrations, fried snake eating contests, and a Miss Snake Charmer beauty pageant. Proponents of the roundup defend the tradition in stating the primary purpose of roundups is to promote awareness and safety of wild rattlesnakes. 
In collaboration with the organization Advocates for Snake Preservation, Jo-Anne McArthur went to the Sweetwater Roundup in 2015 to document the treatment of these animals, and try to understand and expose the fallacies that lead us to the mass killing of these maligned creatures.

Photography and Video: Jo-Anne McArthur
Additional video of wild snakes: Jeff Smith and Dr. Brendan P. O’Connor
Film: Kelly Guerin, 2019
Narration: Jo-Anne McArthur

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