Animal experts explain how to handle rattlesnake bites

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Spring is here, and while we are enjoying the nice weather, it's also a good idea to keep in mind the hidden dangers.

Rattlesnake Awareness Day went virtual this year.

Health officials and animal experts hosted a presentation explaining rattlesnakes' behaviors, safety around the reptiles and how to handle a snake bite.

The curator of reptiles at the Fresno Chaffee zoo joined Dr. Rais Vohra to raise awareness as they start to come out of hibernation.

The most prevalent in our area is Northern Pacific rattlesnakes.

Officials stressed it is important not to touch or move these animals to avoid being bitten.

Staying on trails and hiking with a partner can also help keep you safe.

Rattlesnakes are not aggressive animals. They are animals that tend to move away and flee from any kind of stress or any kind of potential interaction," said Mark Halvorsen, curator of reptiles at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

"So the rattlesnake The best thing to do is to give them as wide a space as possible. We're all social distancing from each other being out in nature, so we should all try to social distance around things. So stay a minimum of six feet away. Don't get any closer than that and you're basically keeping yourself safe," Halvorsen said.

In case of a bite, the best thing you can do is call 911.

Next, remove any restrictive items such as jewelry, clothing or shoes.

Finally, immobilize the limb and apply a light splint if possible.

You can also call poison control for information on what to do at 1-800 222-1222.
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