More than 90 venomous rattlesnakes have been found under home in California

More than 90 venomous rattlesnakes have been found under home in California ...

San Antonio, Calif., (July 11, 2010) Al Wolf is used to removing one or two snakes from under houses, but recently was called by a woman who said she had seen rattlesnakes scurry under her Northern California home and was surprised to discover more than 90 rattlenaks ready to hibernate.

Wolf, Sonoma County Reptile Rescue's director, said he crawled under a mountainside home in Santa Rosa and found reeked snake right away, then another and another. He stepped out of the house, grabbed two buckets, put on long, safety gloves, and went back in. He crawled on his hands, knees, and stomach, tipping over more than 200 tiny rocks.

Wolf said Friday that he continued to find snakes for the next four hours. I thought oh, it was a worthwhile call, but I was glad to go because its not pleasant, youre stung by spider webs and dirt and it smells awful and musty and you're on your belly and dirty. I mean it was work.

But the effort paid off. 22 adult rattlesnakes and 59 infants were removed using a 24-inch snake pole when he returned to the Mayacamas Mountains on Oct. 2. Since then, he has collected 11 more snakes, two more times, and collected another four more. He also found a dead cat and possum.

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

Wolf, who has been rescuing snakes for 32 years and has suffered 13 bites, said he responds to calls about snake bite victims under homes in 17 counties and that dozens of them have been found in one place in the wild, but never under a home.

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

Wolf said there are plans to return to the house again before the end of the month to see if any more snakes arrived.

We know its already a den site because of the babies, and the number of females I found, he added.

Rattlesnakes usually hibernate between October and April and look for rocks to hide under and warm places to rest, returning year after year. The homeowners didnt remove any rocks when they built the house, making it an attractive place for reptiles, Wolf said.

The house was a favorite for the snakes because the rocks provided protection, but the house also provided them with warmth from being wet during the winter, he added.

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