SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — The weather is warming, which means snakes are slithering and experts have put out a warning.
“We are going to have a lot of sightings,” said Sgt. Elmer Marzan with the Sacramento County Regional Parks.
Over the weekend, a young girl was bitten along the American River Parkway at the popular Effie Yeaw Nature Center. The girl picked up a piece of wood and the juvenile snake jumped out.
Staff there said it rarely ever happens. In fact, it may be only the third documented bite in the park’s history.
As an extra precaution, additional signs are now posted and the scene of the bite closed off.
“We were warned to stay on the path,” said one mother while hiking through the park. “We just stay away and aren’t picking up the rocks or the trunks, but it is kind of scary.”
Officials said this year we can expect to see even more rattlers roaming.
“You just have to really be careful about where you go, what you do, and where you stick your hands and feet, and it’s even more dangerous for pets because they tend to sniff things out with their nose and children kind of fall under that same category,” said John Potash with Get Rattled.
He said there may be more rattlers this year because of the late wet spring and more small rodents, which are their main source of food.
“Children, it’s just really the matter of teaching them, ‘If you see a snake stay away!’ Even if it’s a good snake like a gopher snake like this, just stay away,” he added.
So if you do see one, just know you’re probably too close.
“They can lunge basically twice their length,” Marzan said.
Remember to slowly back away and make sure you’re not in the rattlesnake’s way.
The young girl who was bitten was taken to a local hospital and is expected to be OK.
Auburn officials also reported two people admitted to the hospital this past weekend for bites.
The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention estimates 7,000 to 8,000 bites were year happen in the US, but only about five people actually die from a venomous snake bite.
Symptoms are usually pain and stinging at the site, swelling, oozing of blood from bite and bruising. Sometimes a person will have a metallic or mint taste in the mouth or muscle twitching.
If bitten, the best thing you can do is get to the emergency room right away.
It is also important to remain calm, remove jewelry and constrictive clothing, and immobilize the limb in a level position at or
below the level of the heart. Do not cut or suck the bite area. Do not apply ice. Do not apply a tourniquet.
The anti-venom is very effective and most victims require 6 to 10 vials given intravenously.
Officials add that 1 to 2 days and most people recover without long-lasting effects.
Bite prevention is the best medicine:
- Never handle snakes – dead or alive.
- Know the habitat where the snakes live: wood piles, brush.
- Know snake habits – out more at dusk & dawn.
- Keep rattlesnake enemies around: dogs, cats, guinea hens, and pigs.
- Wear boots and long pants.