TEMECULA – A rattlesnake bit a man walking in a rural area west of Temecula during the afternoon hours Monday, April 17.
The snake encounter happened about 1:30 p.m. in the area of Carancho and Los Gatos roads, in an unincorporated community known as De Luz, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The victim, whose name was not released, was able to immediately summon help, according to a fire department representative. He was treated at the scene by paramedics before being transported to an inland trauma center, but his condition could not be confirmed.
It’s unclear how or why the man got so close to the rattler, but snakes are emerging from hibernation all over the inland region and are actively hunting and breeding now that temperatures are rising.
The U.S. Forest Service advised visitors to the San Bernardino National Forest and other remote locations to be on the lookout for rattlers – and avoid them altogether, if possible.
“If you see a snake, back away to at least six feet from the snake (because) they can strike a distance equal to their body length,” according to a USFS statement.
“If you can’t walk around the snake to continue on your way, stamp your feet until it moves away. Keep dogs and horses under control. Rattlesnakes do not always rattle as a warning prior to striking, so don’t assume that if you didn’t hear a rattle, that it wasn’t a rattlesnake.”