COARSEGOLD, Calif. (KFSN) -- Bella Britt has spent time modeling, acting, and planning princess parties. Now she wrangles rattlesnakes.
"People call me the rattlesnake girl," Britt said outside her Coarsegold home while holding a gopher snake. Last year, she bought herself snake-handling equipment and began making herself available to relocate snakes from people's property. It hasn't slowed down much since.
"It exploded, exploded all over the internet. I was getting calls from all over the country," she said. While the majority of her calls end up being for gopher snakes, especially on the Valley floor, she does get calls for rattlesnakes in Coarsegold.
She's fine handling non-venomous snakes like the gopher snake (and says she doesn't mind getting bitten by them), but does not free-handle rattlers and recommends people stay away if the see one at their home.
"I will tell them to back away, leave the snake alone, come back out in an hour and I guarantee the snake will be gone," she said. However, if the snake keeps hanging around, that's where Britt comes in.
She'll either take the snake back to her property or to a spot on the same property where the snake won't see humans, saying that their ability to control the rodent population makes them indispensable.
"You kill every snake that you come across, you're going to hate mice and rats more than you hated snakes," Britt said.
As the weather heats up, more snakes will become visible. She says you'll typically see baby rattlesnakes from April through August or September, depending on the weather. While she says adult rattlesnakes tend to build their schedules to avoid human contact, newborns don't know any better and can be found wandering during this time of year.
You can also find the snakes in brush or anywhere there's cover near your home, especially dense brush or anywhere with ample rodents. Instead of killing snakes you find on your property, Britt hopes people will see their role in the ecosystem and realize how necessary they are. While relocation may be what she's known for, she hopes education helps keep more snakes and people safe.
"I'm not going to be around every time someone comes across a snake, so they need to have that knowledge to identify what's near them, and be able to handle the situation themselves," Britt said.
Britt charges only a travel fee when responding to calls. If you have questions about a snake on your property, or if you think it needs to be relocated, you can reach Britt at 559-824-7833.
She's modeled and planned princess parties, but this Coarsegold woman wants to catch rattlesnakes around your home
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