A warning has been issued by authorities for hikers hoping to see the poppy ‘Superbloom’ to watch out for rattlesnakes that have been spotted and photographed in both the Angeles National Forest and the California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster.
In recent weeks hundreds of there have been hundreds of visitors who have ventured out hoping to see the “superbloom” of poppies.
There was an overhead image posted by the California Poppy Reserve Sunday of a Mojave green rattlesnake curled up next to a trail. It said, “Mojaves are not aggressive unless provoked, and prefer to stay [camouflaged] if approached,” and went on to say “We have seen a lot of Mojaves already this season; another reason to stay on the trails!”
According to the U.S. Forest service, rattlesnakes typically hunt rats, mice and other small animals, killing them with a venomous bite.
CBS Los Angeles reports the U.S. Forest Service post a Facebook post Monday that said, “It’s that time of the year,” “Please be aware.”
Mark Mendehlson, who is a National Park Service Biologist, says it’s important for hikers to wear appropriate attire, since April is prime rattlesnake season. Hiking boots are ideal and you should avoid wearing sandals in the hills. You get a bit of protection if you wear pants or jeans to hike in, and as an important precautionary measure you should always follow well-worn trails and avoid tall grasses.
“Good hiking boots and staying on trails is absolutely the best method” to stay safe, he said. “You have to see several feet in front of you.”
A word of caution if you do hear the distinct rattle of a rattlesnake, you should not immediately run.
Mendehlson said, “I usually jump instinctively,” and “If your body doesn’t make you jump right away, stop, find out where the snake is, then walk in the opposite direction.”