The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) is advising the public about the seasonal re-emergence of rattlesnakes along some regional park trails that make up their habitat. Their re-emergence has recently been observed by park staff and visitors.
“Snakes emerge in warm spring weather to explore their environment, which can lead to more encounters with humans and dogs,” EBRPD said.
Parkgoers who see a rattlesnake are advised to leave it alone and not try to capture or harm it, as all wildlife is protected by law.
“If you see a snake on a trail, wait for it to cross and do not approach,” Parks officials said. “Then move carefully and slowly away.”
More safety tips in this regard:
- Avoid hiking alone so you have help in case of emergency.
- Scan the ground ahead of you as you walk, jog, or ride.
- Stay on trails and avoid walking in tall grass.
- Look carefully around and under logs and rocks before sitting down.
- Avoid placing your hands or feet where you cannot see clearly.
- Keep dogs on designated trails and away from snakes if they see one.
Here’s advice on what to do if bitten by a snake:
- If bitten by a rattlesnake, stay calm and send someone to call 911. Remain calm by lying down with the affected limb lower than the heart. Getting medical attention quickly is critical – do not spend 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, wash the wound with soap and water or an antiseptic and seek medical attention.
- If you are not sure what kind of snake bit you, check the bite for two puncture marks (in rare cases one puncture mark) associated with intense, burning pain. This is typical of a rattlesnake bite. Other snakebites may leave multiple teeth marks without associated burning pain.
“Snakes are an important resource in the natural environment,” the EBRPD said. “They are prime controlling agents of rodents, insects, and other reptile populations. Enjoy them from afar and leave them where they are found.”
Additional information is available here.