As a director of a reptile rescue service, Al Wolf is used to removing at least one or two snakes from people’s homes.
So when he was called by a woman to come clear some snakes from her Santa Rosa home, he did not expect to find close to 100 rattlesnakes getting ready to hibernate.
Den of Snakes
Wolf, who works at the Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, said the moment he crawled underneath the mountainside home, he found s rattlesnake. Seconds later, he discovered a den of snakes resting in this spot.
He had to come out from under the house for two buckets and safety gloves before heading back under.
I kept finding snakes for the next almost four hours. I thought, ‘Oh, good, it was a worthwhile call’ but I was happy to get out because it’s not nice, you run into spider webs and dirt and it smells crappy and it’s musty and you’re on your belly and you’re dirty. I mean, it was work.
At the end, he removed 22 adult rattlesnakes and 59 babies the first time and 11 more snakes, subsequently.
According to Wolf, all the snakes were northern Pacific rattlesnakes, the only venomous snakefound in northern California.
Wolf, who has been rescuing snakes for 32 years and has been bitten 13 times, said he releases the rattlesnakes in the wild away from people and sometimes in private land when ranchers request them for pest control.
Wolf intends returning to the house again before the end of the month to see if any more snakes arrived.
The snakes found the house to be a great place for them because the rocks give them protection but the house, too, gives them protection from being wet during the winter so, it's double insulation for them. We know it’s a den site already because of the babies, and the amount of females I found.