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More Rattlesnake Sightings Reported Along Bay Area Trails

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Rattlesnake (AP)

MARTINEZ (KCBS) – Outdoor enthusiasts may find a bit of a surprise in Bay Area parks and natural habitat regions these days: rattlesnakes are starting to make their presence known this spring.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“We are hearing about a lot more rattlesnake sightings than usual and a lot of people are seeing multiple snakes on walks,” explained Susan Heckly, Wildlife Rehabilitation Director at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.

“Just make sure you know where you’re walking and if you’re hiking around over logs and things like that, look on the other side of the log. Don’t put your hand any place where you can’t look first,” she advised local hikers.

If you encounter a rattlesnake?

“Stop, step back slowly, just stay out of their way,” she recommended. “Rattlesnakes in our area do make noise, they rattle their tails and that’s usually how people notice them.”

“The best thing to do is call 911 immediately,” she described the appropriate response if bitten by a rattlesnake. “Stay calm and sit quietly until you can get help.”

Heckly stressed it was important for hikers to be aware of their surroundings so they could not only spot – and avoid – rattlesnakes, but so they could properly direct emergency responders if needed. She also stressed that dogs should be kept on a leash, and efforts should be taken to avoid midday hikes, considering that’s “prime time” for snakes to be out.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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