18 May 2013

Rattlesnake Warning in Carbon Canyon

Today's edition of The Champion features an article by Marianne Napoles on the increased encounters with rattlesnakes throughout Chino Hills, including Carbon Canyon.

With rising temperatures through the later spring and into summer, the two types of rattlers, the Western Diamondback and the Southern Pacific, are common enough most years, but it appears that they are more numerous this year.

A resident of Hillside Drive in Sleepy Hollow was quoted as saying, "I've lived here for 14 years and it's never been this bad."  An officer from the Inland Valley Humane Society stated that he responded to three calls on Tuesday, including one on Rosemary Lane, also in Sleepy Hollow.

That same officer cautioned that residents should "watch where you put your feet" to avoid surprising a snake resting in a garage, a woodpile and in the yard.  Rattlesnakes are not considered to be particularly aggressive but can bit when they feel threatened and most incidents occur because they are accidently touched or when handled.

If a person is bitten, officials with the Chino Valley Fire District caution to avoid panicking, which can spread venom more quickly through the body, wash the bite area and call 9-1-1. 

Notably, residents of Carbon Canyon who receive rattlesnake bites "will most likely be airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center [near San Bernardino] because it is difficult to enter and exit the canyon."  That facility does have specialists in snakebites who are among the best in the world. 

Meantime, district paramedics are trained to respond to these emergencies and the Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino maintains a supply of anti-venom.  Paramedics will make the call about whether to take victims to the local or regional facilities mentioned above.

Rattlesnake sightings can be reported to the Humane Society office at (909) 623-9777 and the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District will also remove snakes on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.  The district can be contacted at (909) 635-0307.

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