April 4, 2014

Rattlesnake season gets an early start

By Donna Kupke, Reporter, The Friday Flyer


At this month's Public Safety Committee meeting, it was reported by Animal Control that there are a few wildlife-related issues currently in the community. One very important issue that was brought up is the early start of rattlesnake season in Canyon Lake.

Fire Station 60's Captain Brent Carter mentioned that on March 29, Station 60 responded to a call at a residence on San Joaquin Dr. The call was for a man complaining of shortness of breath; he had been bitten by a baby rattlesnake. Capt. Carter noted that, between the time of the 911 call and their response, a matter of minutes, the man's condition from the venom's effect had worsened.

Because of the quick medical response, the man is doing well. But Capt. Carter says it is a strong reminder of how deadly a rattlesnake bite can be and how residents need to be vigilant, especially those with children.

According to the representative from Animal Control, Canyon Lake is a special draw to the snakes due to the lake, lush foliage and abundance of small animals (specifically mice and rabbits) that are food for the snakes. The representative further noted that this also is a reason for coyotes and raccoons within the community.

She said residents should contact AFV to report all wildlife in the area. She stressed “hazing” as the best way to discourage coyotes from remaining in the community, saying, "Make yourself big by waving your arms, jumping around and making lots of noise."

The issue of two dog fatalities by coyotes next to the Golf Course was brought up at the meeting with the question, "What can be done?" The representative said, "There is not a whole lot you can do but be aware that they are there."

She added that the problem is they are “urban coyotes” and "live among us." She stated that residents can call to report coyotes, but that "97 percent of the time, they are gone before Animal Control arrives."

Residents are also discouraged from feeding cats or kittens that do not belong to them.

For residents who wish to report a problem with coyotes, the emergency phone number for Animal Control is 951-609-5185.