More than 90 snakes found among the home of Northern California


This October 2, 2021 shows a group of venomous North Pacific rattlesnakes recovered from a home in Santa Rosa, California. Al Wolf is used to removing a snake or two from under houses, but recently got a call from a woman who said she had seen rattlesnakes scurrying under her home in Northern California and was surprised to find more than 90 rattlesnakes perched on the Prepared for hibernation. (Sonoma County Reptile Rescue via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Al Wolf is used to removing a snake or two from under houses but recently received a call from a woman who said she saw rattlesnakes scurrying under her northern California home and was surprised to find more than 90 rattlesnakes find that prepare to hibernate.

Wolf, director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, said he crawled under the house on the mountainside in Santa Rosa and immediately found a rattlesnake, then another, and another. He got out from under the house, grabbed two buckets, put on long safety gloves, and went back inside. He crawled on his hands, knees and stomach and overturned more than 200 small stones.

“I kept finding snakes for almost four hours,” said Wolf on Friday. “I thought, ‘Oh, well, it was worth it,’ but I was happy to get out because it’s not nice, you walk on cobwebs and dirt and it smells like shit and it’s musty and you’re on your stomach and you. “Dirty again. I mean, it was work. ”

But the work was worth it. When he first visited the home in the Mayacamas Mountains on October 2, he used a two-inch snake bar to remove 22 adult rattlesnakes and 59 babies. He has returned twice since then and collected 11 more snakes. He also found a dead cat and a dead possum.

All of the snakes were North Pacific rattlesnakes, the only venomous snake found in Northern California, he said.

Wolf has been rescuing snakes for 32 years and has been bitten 13 times.

He said he releases the rattlesnakes in the wild away from humans and sometimes on private land when ranchers request them for pest control.

Wolf said plans to return to the house before the end of the month to see if more snakes have arrived.

“We know it’s a cave already because of the babies and the amount of females I’ve found,” he said.

Rattlesnakes usually hibernate from October to April, looking for rocks to hide under and in warm places, and returning to the same place year after year. The homeowners didn’t remove any stones when building the house, making it an attractive place for the reptiles, Wolf said.

“The snakes found the house a great place for them because the rocks give them shelter, but the house also keeps them wet in winter, so it’s double insulation for them,” he said.

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