Conservation officers are blaming the hot weather in B.C.’s Okanagan for a recent rise in rattlesnake calls.
The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said there have been more than a dozen rattlesnake calls this summer as the cold-blooded creatures search for “areas that remain warm late into the evening – hence your garden, shop or garage.”
Officer Mike Stern said 10 of those calls have been in the Penticton area alone, including a recent incident where two rattlesnakes – possibly a mating pair – were found in a resident’s garage.
Both were safely removed, though Stern noted that not all rattlesnake sightings require a call to conservation.
“When we get involved, it’s usually when a snake gets confined,” Stern told CTV News. “If people find one that is, say, on their lawn, you can turn your sprinklers on because they don’t like that. They’ll usually leave.”
Authorities said the increase in calls should serve as a reminder to keep garage doors closed to prevent snakes from slithering inside undetected.
The BCCOS also recommends Okanagan residents clear their gardens of debris “to prevent entanglement and surprise encounters.”
According to the B.C. government, the Northern Pacific rattlesnakes found in the province’s Southern Interior have an “exaggerated reputation for danger,” and generally only become aggressive if chased or cornered.
“Rattlesnake bites are very uncommon and very rarely fatal, although they could be…