The East Bay Regional Park District issued an advisory Tuesday about rattlesnakes, known to become more active in many of its parks as the weather heats up.
“They like to explore when the weather gets warm which can lead to more encounters with humans and dogs,” the park district said.
When visiting regional parks, visitors should hike with a friend that can help in case of an emergency, look at the ground ahead as you walk, look carefully around and under logs and rocks before sitting down, avoid placing hands or feet where you can’t see clearly, check the area around picnic tables, campsites and barbecues before using them and keep pets on designated trails.
If you see a rattlesnake, leave it alone. All park wildlife is protected by law and so do not try to capture or harm it. If you see it on the trail, wait for it to cross and do not approach, the park district said. Then move carefully and slowly away.
If bitten by a snake, stay calm and send someone to call 911; remain calm by lying down with the affected limb lower than the heard; do not waste precious time on tourniquets, “sucking” or snake bite kits — if you are by yourself, walk calmly to the nearest source of help to dial 911. DO NOT RUN.
If bitten by any other kind of snake than a rattlesnake, wash the wound with soap and water or an antiseptic and seek medical attention, the park district said. If you aren’t sure what kind of snake bit you, check the bite for two puncture marks associated with intense, burning pain, which is typical of a rattlesnake bite.
While snakes can bite, they are important for the natural environment, controlling rodent, insect and other reptile populations, and they must be enjoyed from afar, the park district said.
” It is illegal to collect, kill, or remove any plants or animals from the East Bay Regional Park District,” the district said.
Additional information is available at www.ebparks.org/parks/safety/#Snakes.