‘They’re not going away’: Staying safe outdoors during rattlesnake season

Bay Area

ANTIOCH (KRON) — Before you hit the trails this summer, East Bay park officials are warning about the risk of rattlesnakes.

“You should really learn how to coexist with rattlesnakes, because they’re not going away,” said naturalist Kevin Dixon.

Rattlesnakes also want nothing to do with humans, but Dixon, says they will attack if they feel threatened.

“Just be away if you’re on the trails, and you’ll be safe. If you do encounter a snake on the trail, you might just want to wait for it to crawl back off the trail,” Dixon said.

Dixon works for the East Bay Regional Park District.

KRON4’S Philippe Djegal met up with him at Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Antioch, one of 73 of the district’s parks.

Dixon is a professional, so he can responsibly look under debris for northern pacific rattlesnakes, the only venomous snakes in the park.

He says visitors should not follow his lead.

“Because that can put you at risk, and you’re also disturbing the creatures that live out here,” he said.

Dixon says be careful near the shade and big rocks.

“This is a place where ground squirrels live, and they make the homes for rattlesnakes, and they like to rest in the shade of a tree or down under a rock — something like this,” he said.

If you’re planning on lighting up the barbeque, Dixon says its important to check around your picnic area.

“You want to check around your picnic table, and your barbeque to make sure there are no rattlesnakes, and the small ones are little,” he said. “They’re, you know, about as big around as whatever that is.”

Travel in pairs in the parks and if you by chance get bitten by a rattlesnake, call 911 immediately, and get to a hospital as quickly as possible where you can be treated with anti-venom.

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