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Official says avoidance best way to handle snakes

Some residents encounter rattlesnakes in city’s open space, preserves
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Valerie Lewellen and her dog were walking on the bike trail near E. Roseville Parkway when they encountered an unwanted surprise — a coiled-up rattlesnake. The pair nearly stepped on the snake. Lewellen grabbed her Boston terrier and rushed off down the path. Her dog had already been bitten twice by rattlesnakes in Granite Bay, and she was in no hurry to relive the experience or medical expense. “Don’t think just because you’re out there in a neighborhood that there aren’t rattlesnakes,” she said, following the July 26 incident. Roseville has a number of snake species that live within the city’s open space and preserves, said Brian Castelluccio, open space manager for the city. Snakes found here are normally not aggressive and do not pose an imminent threat to people. “To the best of my knowledge we do not have a rattlesnake problem,” Castelluccio said. “We do have rattlesnakes in Roseville and periodically we have had reports from citizens who have seen them within the open space and preserves. A good portion of the bike trails run through the open space and preserves, which is normally where the interaction occurs.” These areas have been set aside to protect their natural resources, which means they’re mainly left unmaintained. Residents enter open spaces and preserves at their own risk. Castelluccio suggests that people be observant of their surroundings and avoid contact with wildlife. If a person encounters wildlife, she should not disturb the animal and maintain distance. “Observation and avoidance is the best way to handle encounters with snakes,” he said. A person bitten by a snake should seek immediate medical attention and try to remember the snake’s appearance so proper treatment can be administered. If a person encounters an injured or sick animal acting abnormal, call the city’s Open Space Division at (916) 774-5748. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.