A group of venomous Northern Pacific rattlesnakes which were extracted from a under a home in Santa Rosa, Calif. Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

Al Wolf is used to clearing one or two snakes from under houses, but recently was called by a woman who said she had seen rattlesnakes scurry under her Northern California house and was surprised to find more than 90 of them getting ready to hibernate.

Wolf, director of the Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, said he crawled under the mountainside home in Santa Rosa and found a rattlesnake right away – then another and another. He got out from under the house, grabbed two buckets, put on long, safety gloves, and went back in. He crawled on his hands, knees and stomach, tipping over more than 200 small rocks.

“I kept finding snakes for the next almost four hours,” Wolf said. “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.”

Some of the rattlesnakes found under a northern California house.

But the work paid off. Wolf used a 24-inch snake pole to remove 22 adult rattlesnakes and 59 babies when he first visited the home in the Mayacamas Mountains on Oct. 2. He returned twice since and collected 11 more snakes.

He also found a dead cat and dead possum.


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