High heat brings out rattlesnakes

August 25, 2010 12:11:20 AM PDT
There is another side effect of hot summer weather -- and it slithers.

These high temperatures are luring normally-nocturnal rattlesnakes out of hiding and now there is a surge of rattler activity in the North Bay.

Bob Tischler from Santa Rosa knew it as soon as he heard it. Tangled in the netting around the Tischlers' backyard tomato plants was a rattlesnake.

"I did consider actually grabbing some scissors and trying to cut it free, but once I took a closer look, it was really caught up," says Judy Tischler.

The Tischlers called the non-profit Sonoma County Reptile Rescue Service and Al Wolf came to the rescue.

Tischler videotaped what Wolf did next. He meticulously freed the snake without having the nervous animal turn on him. It is dangerous work and Wolf has been bitten 11 times in 21 years.

The Tischlers' snake was one of nine Wolf rescued on Tuesday. It went into a holding pen with three dozen more taken in this week.

"Once this warm weather hit, rattlesnakes are on the move," says Wolf.

The Marin Humane Society has also had their share of rattler calls.

"Today and yesterday we've had a sudden increase in calls from people sighting rattlesnakes on trails and in backyards," says Carrie Harrington from the Marin Humane Society.

The best advice for anyone who finds a rattlesnake on their property is to do what the Tischlers did -- keep your distance and call an expert.

After a short stay, the snakes at the center will be set free, far away from anyone's backyard.

"We make sure they have a good rocky hillside, good watery stream, lots of lizards, lots of food, give them a good life where they won't see people again hopefully," says Wolf.

And at least four rattlers have been spotted at the College of Marin's Indian Valley campus in Novato over the past week. Campus police have warned everyone to be on-alert and stay on paved pathways and out of the woods.

Sonoma County Reptile Rescue
Al Wolf
(707) 829-8152
2925 Old Gravenstein Highway
Sebastopol, CA 95472
www.sonomacountyreptilerescue.com

The Marin Humane Society
171 Bel Marin Keys Blvd.
Novato, CA 94949
415-883-4621
www.marinhumanesociety.org


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