The horrid practice has now been outlawed in most states, but it still takes place here in Texas this time of year.
Hunters pour gasoline or ammonia down burrows where rattlesnakes hang out during chilly winter months. Sometimes the toxic flood kills whatever unfortunate animals are residing below. For the lucky, death comes almost immediately. For others it can take two, even three months.
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Giese is a biologist and staff attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson, Ariz., which focuses on the protection of reptiles and amphibians. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org