Summer heat prompts rattlesnake advisory in East Bay parks

East Bay Regional Park warn about rattlesnakes due to summer heat
Rattlesnake (Photo by Kevin Dixon)

Snakes, notably rattlesnakes, may become more visible along some East Bay park trails due to the summer heat warming up the region.

Snakes typically emerge in warm weather to explore their environment, which can lead to more encounters with humans and dogs, according to the East Bay Regional Park District.

Due to this, the Park District advises that visitors avoid hiking alone so you’ll have help in case of an emergency; scan the ground ahead of them as they walk, jog or ride, and to stay on trails and avoid walking in tall grass; look carefully around and under logs and rocks before sitting down; avoid placing hands or feet where one cannot see clearly; and, for maximum safety, consider keeping dogs on a leash.

If you see a rattlesnake, leave it alone. Wait for it to cross and do not approach, then move carefully and slowly away, park officials said. If bitten by one, stay calm by lying down with the affected limb lower than the heart, and send someone to call 911. Do not spend time on tourniquets, “sucking,” or snake bite kits, state park officials. If by yourself, walk calmly to the nearest source of help to dial 911, but 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, park officials add. Check the bite for two puncture marks (in rare cases, one puncture mark) associated with intense, burning pain, which is typical of a rattlesnake bites. Other snakebites may leave multiple teeth marks without associated burning pain, according to park district officials.

“Snakes are an important resource in the natural environment,” the Park District states “They are prime controlling agents of rodents, insects, and other reptile populations. Enjoy them from afar and leave them where they are found. It is illegal to collect, kill, or remove any plants or animals from the Park District. Please help us to protect wildlife and their environment for present and future generations.”

For more information, download the Park District’s Common Snakes brochure or watch its Gopher Snake or Rattlesnake video. Additional information is available here.