Not all deadly predators are huge beasts. Some hide beneath piles of leaves, or look like a stick in a Wal-Mart garden center.
This year an above average number of venomous fangs have been sinking into human flesh. The warm winter leading into an early spring made 2012 perfect for cold-blooded creatures. California's snakebite tally for April and May, 129, is nearly double last years' count of 70.
In Texas, two undocumented immigrants from Guatemala were bitten by rattlesnakes. Border patrol agents found them and took them to a hospital where they are expected to recover, reported Valley Central. Besides being caught and deported, those men were lucky. Untreated snake bites can be deadly, like the recent death of a snake-handling Pentecostal preacher bitten by one of his serpents.
On the whole, humans aren't usually in harms way of these predators. Snake bites kill an average of 6 people per year in the U.S., according to the University of Florida. An American is nine times more likely to die from a lightning strike than a rattlesnake's strike.
On the other hand, some people make a sport of slaughtering serpents. In Sweetwater, Texas, the annual Rattlesnake Round-up draws upwards of 30,000 spectators calling out for cold-blood. In 2003, hunters brought in 4,207 pounds of rattlesnakes to be put on display then massacred. Several other cities, such as Opp, Georgia, have round-ups as well. Conservationists have protested such events, stating that eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) numbers are declining and that the way they are treated is animal abuse, reported the AP.