Snakes alive: 92 rattlesnakes retrieved from under California home

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Even for a seasoned reptile rescue director, this was a large number of snakes.

A reptile rescue director in Northern California got a big surprise earlier this month as he pulled 92 Northern Pacific rattlesnakes from underneath a home in Santa Rosa.

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Al Wolf, who runs Sonoma County Reptile Rescue in Northern California, pulled 92 Northern Pacific rattlesnakes from underneath a Santa Rosa home on Oct. 2, The Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported.

Wolf used 24-inch snake tongs to remove 22 adults and 59 babies under the home, located in northeastern Santa Rosa on the Mayacamas Mountains, the newspaper reported.

It is the largest number of reptiles Wolf has retrieved at one time during his 32 years of catching snakes, a task that took nearly four hours.

“Within a minute I find a rattlesnake. OK, great,” Wolf told KTVU. “I get it into the bucket and then I see a second rattlesnake. So I get that and put it into the bucket. Then I move another rock and I find a third rattlesnake. Then I see two babies.”

Wolf used one bucket for adults and another for babies.

He returned to the home two more times and found 11 more snakes, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“I was tickled pink,” Wolf told the newspaper. “It’s what I like to do, and I generally get a call and find one, maybe two rattlesnakes. But when you start finding stuff like this, I think, ‘Oh good, this is a really worthwhile call.’”

The Sonoma County Reptile Rescue shared photos of the snakes in a Facebook post.

Northern Pacific rattlesnakes are venomous and mostly found in areas north of Fresno in California, Wolf told the Chronicle.

Wolf called most of the snakes he captured “fairly mellow in nature” but compared grabbing them to petting a dog.

“Some you go up and pet. Some you can’t,” Wolf told The Press Democrat.

Wolf said he releases snakes at more than 35 snake den sites across northern Sonoma County, the Chronicle reported.

“Away from people and private property,” Wolf told KTVU. “It’s a beautiful animal. It belongs out there.”

After Wolf discovered the snakes at the Santa Rosa home, he told the homeowner what he found.

“She said something odd to me,” Wolf told KTVU.“She said, ‘Maybe that’s why I haven’t had a rodent problem.’ I said ‘You think?’


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