Image: Kevin Brown
Photo opportunity: The jaws of one of the snakes are prized open.
Each year they are hunted, gassed and crammed into containers before being milked and finally beheaded. Even after death, they may be skinned for cash and the amusement of a throng of spectators. The unwilling stars of this bloody spectacle are the rattlesnakes of Sweetwater, Texas, which are rounded up every March by hunters who receive about $5 a pound for the unfortunate reptiles.