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Rattlesnake season begins in California: how to behave when meeting with a reptile

Every year, when spring air temperatures begin to rise, rattlesnakes crawl out of their shelters. Their season officially began throughout California, which means that you can encounter this creature while walking in the fresh air, writes Only in Your State.

Photo: Shutterstock

You will most likely want to know how to behave if you meet them. Be sure to read the recommendations before you go for a walk. You can meet the snake in all types of habitats throughout California, from the coast to the desert and even in your own backyard. Although rattlesnakes are generally not aggressive, you should still take care to avoid these poisonous creatures.

Rattlesnakes usually begin to emerge from their shelters in May, and their appearance is not limited to rural areas. They can also be found in urban areas, especially on river banks, in lake parks and on golf courses. However, do not let the thought of a potential encounter with a rattlesnake scare you away from enjoying the nature of Northern California.

As the old saying goes: "They are more afraid of you than you are of them." Rattlesnakes are known to retreat unless provoked and threatened. It is important to keep calm and give them a wide space for retreat if you meet one of them on the trail.

Most rattlesnake bites occur when the snake is exposed to physical impact or the accidental touch of a person. That is why it is so important to wear sturdy boots and loose trousers when inspecting areas where rattlesnakes can be, especially when crossing bushes or overgrown landscapes.

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There are 7 species of rattlesnakes in California. An easy way to identify any rattlesnake, regardless of species, is with a speckled pattern on its back and a rattle at the end of its tail. Be aware that young snakes may not have a rattle, and rattlesnakes do not always use their rattle to warn prey before striking.

Rattlesnake bites are not common, but if you or someone close to you has been bitten, you need to act quickly. It’s best to stay calm and get to the nearest medical facility. Never use a tourniquet, do not cover the wound with ice, do not cut the wound and do not suck out the poison with your mouth.

Encounters with rattlesnakes are part of outdoor walks. After all, we are the ones invading their territory. Stay away from these creatures and you shouldn't have a problem.

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