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Placer High rattler finds new home

District office said snake has to go
By: Amber Marra, Journal Staff Writer
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The Northern Pacific rattlesnake that has called Placer High School home for 30 years will be on the move later this month.

Striker the rattlesnake has lived in a locked cage in a biology classroom on Placer High's campus since the 1980s. Doug Stryker, from whom the rattlesnake gained its name, taught biology at Placer for 28 years before retiring in 2008.

Since then, Stryker has still taken care of the snake on a regular basis, but used Striker as a teaching aid in his biology lessons. He obtained the snake when it was in its infancy from a student who found it in Auburn.

"I felt that the kids should know about them in this area," Stryker said.

Recently, Placer Union High School District Superintendent Dave Horsey said since Stryker had retired, so should Placer High's resident rattler. The insurance liability for having the snake in the school is too great, Horsey said.

Since then, Stryker has worked with Gold Country Wildlife Rescue to find a new home for the snake. Kari Freidig, a wildlife rehabilitator with the rescue service, said she and Stryker both think the snake holds a record because of its age of 30 years, seven months.

Stryker will soon be moved to Mather Field Air Force Base for the Splash Education Center, a non-profit meant to educated children about science and natural resources in Sacramento.

Striker will be in his new home by Oct. 29.

"We felt Splash would be the best place because they do what Striker is all about," Freidig said. "Striker is not out of the education business."

Contact Amber Marra at amberm@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @Amber_AJNews.