Antioch family finds 4-foot rattlesnake in backyard; situation is increasingly common, says experts

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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An Antioch family found a 4-foot rattlesnake in their backyard. Experts say this is becoming increasingly common amid the California drought.

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- As California's drought continues to worsen, the hot and dry weather continues to impact all of us.

On Monday in Antioch, a family found a 4-foot rattlesnake in their backyard, just feet away from their sliding glass door.

Video of that snake was recorded and in it, you can hear the loud rattles.

"My wife got some pictures of its fangs. The snake meant business," said Kelly Ouimet.

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Snakes in yards aren't out of the ordinary. Experts say they are increasingly common.

Luis Antonio Fraser of SnakeRemoval.com said this year, as the dry and hot weather continues, the snake calls are coming in at high numbers. It is now birthing season for rattlesnakes. By 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, Fraser had already received three rattlesnake calls.

"We're getting a lot of calls for baby snakes," Fraser said.

But the snake in Antioch was no baby.

"This is the largest one we've found in our yard," said Kristi Ouimet.

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The Ouimets went to work, using two snake grabbers to get ahold of this one.

"With rattlesnakes, we don't mess around, they're poisonous. They're deadly, they're dangerous, they're not endangered, so we don't ever relocate those. We just take their head off with a shovel," Kristi said.

The snake the Ouimet's found was about as tall as their 11-year-old son, Matthew.

Neighbors in the area near the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve say the rattlesnakes are out.

"I've seen more this year actually, from the prior years that we didn't have any water. It seems like they're coming back towards the houses to seek the water, and the plants, and the grass," said Giovanni Chamberlain who lives in the area.

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"(They are) going after the irrigation, and the water, and the shade," Fraser said.

All of which are in the Ouimet's garden, feet away from where the rattler was found, and also feet away from their sliding glass door.

"Two of our three kids are also transplant recipients, and I really don't want to know what is going to happen with a kid that has had a transplant and has to deal with a snake bite on top of that," Kristi said.

While the Ouimet family killed the rattlesnake in their yard, the snake remover we talked with said they do not kill the snakes. They will relocate them in areas far from where they are found. Those at SnakeRemoval.com say they have employees located across Northern and Central California, including the Bay Area, Sacramento Area and Central Valley.

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