What should you do if you encounter a rattlesnake on a trail?
- Use the Jefferson County 30/30 rule:
- Walk 30 feet away from the snake and give it 30 seconds to leave the trail. NEVER attempt to move or harm a rattlesnake. Give snakes space and time to move away from you.
- If it does not move, carefully walk around it, giving the snake at least four feet of clearance.
What should you do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake?
- Call 911
- Remain calm
- Sit down and keep the bitten area at or below the level of your heart
- Do not attempt to drive yourself to a medical facility
- Remove rings, bracelets or other items that could restrict blood flow with severe swelling
- Record the time the bite occurred and monitor for severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
- DO NOT: cut skin, suck puncture wounds, apply a tourniquet, apply ice or water or use a venom extraction kit
How should you protect your dog?
- Keep your dog on a leash
- Keep them on the trail
- If your dog is bitten by a Rattlesnake:
- Immediately transport to a veterinary medical facility
- Call ahead and ensure the veterinarian is prepared for a snake bite emergency
- If possible, carry your pet to reduce activity and the overall effect of venom
Now, we can move on...
What have we done so far this year?
Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) is working to formalize more recreation opportunities on South Table Mountain. To assist JCOS, Adaptation will be surveying proposed trail routes and parking areas to better understand how rattlesnakes might also be using these areas. We also want to know how rattlesnakes use the mountain during active months and where they spend the winter. To facilitate this, we will collect and surgically implant transmitters in 25 snakes.
So far, we have collected 13 rattlesnakes and Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, with Alameda East Veterinary Hospital, has surgically implanted radio transmitters into them. We will continue to collect rattlesnakes until we reach our goal of 25 and we have started tracking the first 13.