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Rattlesnakes Common Year-Round In San Diego County

Audio

Aired 9/13/11

"If you are bitten by a snake don't try to clean the wound or make any incisions like they use to do in the past."

Southern Pacific rattlesnake
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Above: Southern Pacific rattlesnake

The body of a man believed in his early 30s was found in Mission Trails Regional park last Wednesday morning - possibly a victim of a rattlesnake bite.

Rattlesnake photographed by Brent Myers.
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Above: Rattlesnake photographed by Brent Myers.

Because of San Diego's warm climate, reptile experts say you could encounter a venomous snake year round in the county.

There are four species of rattlesnakes found in San Diego. The Red Diamond and Southern Pacific are the most common, followed by the speckled and side winder. All of them are deadly.

A woman in Oceanside was struck twice in the ankle by a rattlesnake while pushing her baby stroller near the airport last month. Her throat and eyes swelled and she was temporarily paralyzed, but survived.

San Diego Zoo reptile keeper Brett Baldwin says the best way to avoid a snake bite is to keep your eyes on the traill. If you want to look at the scenery, stop walking so you don't accidentally disturb a dormant snake.

"If you are bitten by a snake don't try to clean the wound or make any incisions like they used to do in the past. Just get to the hospital as fast as possible," said Baldwin.

Your cellphone is the best thing you can carry with you while hiking or running on the trail. If you are bitten, call 911 immediately for help.

The County Medical Emergency department has fielded fewer reports of snake bites this year - about 21 calls from across the county. Most were non-life threatening.

Comments

Avatar for user 'DeanAllan'

DeanAllan | September 14, 2011 at 4:04 a.m. ― 3 years ago

It is worth having a look at a website by an organization called Working with Wildlife at www.workingwithwildlifeusa.com if there is a chance that you could come into contact with snakes in your area. They provide information and resources on snakes, their actions when they come into contact with people and things you can do to reduce the chances of being bitten by one. Best of all you can download snake bite first aid instructions from their site free of charge - it is a really good site on this topic.

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Avatar for user 'sbcabello'

sbcabello | September 14, 2011 at 9:02 a.m. ― 3 years ago

DeanAllan is another guy trolling the internet to post links to his website. All of his posts on the KPBS site are about the company Working With Wildlife. This is contrary to the aim of this board, and of public radio.

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