Rattlesnake sightings on the rise in Marin County

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SAN RAFAEL (KRON) — Rattlesnakes are rattling Marin County communities.

The Marin Humane says there’s been a sharp increase in snake sightings in the past few months with one neighbor saying the problem has escalated in just the past two weeks.

“They found a four-foot rattlesnake right out in the open,” said San Rafael resident Donnalei Sumner. 

When the snake was discovered and removed last week, Sumner says her and her husband got creative.

“We put these up with chairs, right in front of our house going down the street, so the children would be careful,” Sumner said.

The Sumners live in San Rafael’s Marinwood community just blocks away from elementary and middle schools.

Sumner made signs suggesting the kids walk in the street, rather than sidewalks, where a rattlesnake could pop out of the bushes.

Her fears intensified after her neighbor found a second rattlesnake in his garage in less than two weeks.

Another neighbor’s dog was also found dead.

“We’ve had 10 sightings of rattlesnakes, that have been about three and a half to four feet long,” Sumner said.

Director of Animal Services for Marin Humane Cindy Machado says overall, the non-profit has received 60 reported snake sightings in the past month and a half.

“When the heat of the summer comes out, so do all of the snakes,” Machado said.

Most of the snakes have been found in the Marinwood and Lucas Valley communities, where homes are located near open spaces.

The only venomous snake in the county is a rattler, and Machado says they rarely attack unprovoked.     

“[Don’t] tease them, don’t torment them. Give them space. Often they can also strike without using their venom,” MAchado said. “Which makes it that much more dangerous when you’re encountering a rattlesnake.”

To stay safe, keep dogs on leashes, cats indoors when you can and watch where you walk.

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