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Representative Susan King hosted the Sweetwater Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) from Feb. 8-10, at the Texas State Capitol. For the sixth year in a row, Rep. King arranged for her colleagues in the House to get an up close and personal view of life in West Texas in the Outdoor Rotunda. The Sweetwater Jaycees took over duties of the Rattlesnake Roundup 51 years ago and have been coming to the Capitol for several years.
The Sweetwater Jaycees put on annually what they call the "World's Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up" in the second weekend of March in Sweetwater. The Round-Up was started as a way to control the population of snakes in their area of Texas. The over-population of rattlesnakes was causing harm to the local farmers and ranchers who were losing their livestock to these natural predators.
While at the Capitol, the Jaycees' presentation included a discussion on snake safety and what to do if bitten by one, a snake "petting" where observers were given the chance to touch the snakes, a lesson on the life and behavior of snakes and messages on how to act if one should encounter a snake.