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Estimated 30,000 At Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup

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A venomous rattlesnake tastes the air. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

A venomous rattlesnake tastes the air. (credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

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SWEETWATER (AP) – Cold weather is blamed for fewer critters being caught during what’s billed as the World’s Largest Rattlesnake Roundup in West Texas.

Organizers say the three-day event in Sweetwater, which wrapped up Sunday, drew an estimated crowd of 30,000.

Director Khris Torrez says hunters caught about 1,700 pounds worth of rattlesnakes. The usual take is closer to 4,000 pounds, but organizers say the long, cold winter affected the number of rattlers.

The original purpose of the roundup was to minimize the area’s rattlesnake population, but the event has become a tourist draw.

Deep-fried Western Diamondback Rattlesnake was on the roundup menu. Some of the reptile meat will be shipped to grocery stores.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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