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Man, Trying To Protect Children, Gets Bitten By Rattlesnake

A coiled diamondback rattlesnake Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR
A coiled diamondback rattlesnake Photo from Alpha Media Portland OR

One man is recovering from a rattlesnake bite in Western Riverside County.

 

Around 5:15 Saturday afternoon on April  17th 2021, the victim was bitten by a rattlesnake in Temescal Canyon in the Corona area.

 

Paramedics rushed him to a hospital.  Animal Control Officers euthanized the snake.

 

Typically snakes are taken to  a remote outpost about a mile away from where they are found. But this time, there was nowhere to safely release the snake without it finding its way back to residential areas, so animal control officers euthanized the snake.

 

The victim had tried to pick up the snake with barbecue tongs and the snake bit the man on the left hand. Reportedly, the victim was trying to remove the snake to protect  children in the area, but Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer advised against using cooking utensils when dealing with dangerous reptiles.

 

“A coiled rattlesnake can strike the length of its body and the bites are painful and, in some rare cases, fatal,” Mayer said.

 

As temperatures have climbed in recent weeks, so have the number of rattlesnake sightings. Officers have responded to at least four calls in the past couple of weeks or so — and safely removed and released two rattlesnakes. One of those releases included a snake very similar in species and size in comparison to the snake from Saturday’s incident in Corona..

 

Reportedly, the victim was trying to remove the snake to protect the children in the area, but Animal Services Commander Chris Mayer advised against using cooking utensils when dealing with dangerous reptiles.

 

“A coiled rattlesnake can strike the length of its body and the bites are painful and, in some rare cases, fatal,” Mayer said.

 

The public can learn more about what they can do if they encounter a rattlesnake — and how to make a yard more rattlesnake-proof by visiting Animal Services Website; here’s a link:

 

https://rcdas.org/images/DOWNLOADS/WILDLIFE_FLYERS/Rattlesnake_2021_v1.pdf

 

When Officer Mike McGee arrived to the Sycamore Creek property, the rattlesnake was coiled near some bushes. He used his equipment — tongs that reach about 5 feet — and a humane storage bucket. A crowd had gathered and he said some were surprised he was going to use what some described as “garden tools.” It should be noted all Riverside County Animal Services officers have been trained to properly and safely remove rattlesnakes.

 

“There’s always adrenaline,” McGee said. “Every time your alerts are always up. You don’t want to get too comfortable.”

 

Many people had their phones out to take photos and video footage of his interactions with the snake, he said. He reached for the reptile, captured it, but was concerned about how tight he had the snake. “One man had gotten too close with his phone and I had to tell him to move back because I wasn’t sure if I had a firm grip,” McGee said.

 

Once he had the tongs around the snake, it wiggled and flailed, “much like a bass does when caught on a line,” he said. McGee placed the snake in the bucket and shook it loose and then placed the lid on top.

 

Some people cheered his efforts and said it was the biggest incident that had happened in their area for a very long time. 

 

“Some of the children were saying, ‘bye, Mr. Snake,’” McGee said.

 

The link below is on our Facebook page and features footage of two recent rattlesnake calls the same officer — Officer McGee — responded to and later released back into the wild:

 

https://www.facebook.com/162246003836827/posts/4036051836456205/

 

 

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