Hiker films scary run-in with rattlesnake

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SAN DIEGO – Just before sunset Tuesday, Patrick Bennett was running near Mission Trails when he heard it.

“It’s a real quick warning,” Bennett said of the rattling noise. “Right away, I see it’s a rattlesnake. They light up pretty good!”

Bennett backed his way out of trouble, pulling out his cellphone and rolling on video that he then posted to Facebook. Hundreds of people in the area saw the video online and many began commenting. Some seemed surprised a rattlesnake was out during one of San Diego’s hottest weeks of the year.

Check out the county’s full guide to staying safe while sharing the trail with rattlesnakes

“It’s a lot like us,” Dan Desousa with San Diego County Animal Services said of the snake. “Some people want to go out in the sun and bake themselves, some won’t. It’s very much so up to the individual rattlesnake.”

Desousa said there’s no temperature and no time of day in the San Diego area that’s too hot or too cold for rattlesnakes. However, they do like sunset and sunrise most.

“We’ve seen about 15 calls so far this month,” Desousa said, adding that the majority of the calls have come from farther north near Fallbrook.

“What worried me the most is there was a guy who came right behind me who had his headphones in,” Bennett said. He suggested others remove headphones and keep dogs on leashes while out on the trails to listen for snakes.

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