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Rattlesnake encounters rise with temperature

SAN DIEGO – As the temperature rises, so do the number of encounters between San Diegans and rattlesnakes, county authorities warned Tuesday.

San Diego County Animal Services has received 656 rattlesnake calls since the beginning of the year. That’s 100 more than last year at this time, county officials said.

“Due to our very temperate climate, rattlesnakes can be found year round in our County, in communities ranging from the coast to the deserts,” said County Animal Services Director Dan DeSousa. “But snake sightings may spike during hot spells.”

Rattlesnakes pose a particular danger to pets and young children, who may approach the snakes because they aren’t aware of the danger. Information on avoiding rattlesnakes and what to do if you are bitten is available on the county website.

If you see a rattlesnake near your home, Animal Services recommends keeping an eye on it from a distance and calling animal control officers to remove it. Residents of unincorporated areas and the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, Encinitas, San Diego, Santee and Solana Beach can call Animal Services at 619-236-2341 for help removing snakes. Otherwise, call the animal control agency for your city.