The East Bay Regional Park District is warning of active snake season in parks and open spaces.
Park officials said rattlesnakes like to explore when the weather warms up and residents should take caution when visiting regional parks.
Some tips for safely navigating areas with snakes include hiking with a friend in case of an emergency; looking at the ground ahead of you while hiking; looking carefully around and under logs and rocks before sitting down; avoiding placing hands or feet in obscured areas; checking public areas near benches and campsites for snakes; keeping pets on designated trails away from snakes if they see one.
If anyone encounters a rattlesnake, park officials say to leave it alone and allow it to cross if it is on a trail.
If bitten by a snake, park officials say to stay calm and send someone to call 911. Affected limbs should be held lower than the heart and victims who are alone should walk, not run, to find help.
Victims who are unsure of which kind of snake has bitten them should check for two puncture marks associated with intense, burning pain. Some rare cases of rattlesnake bites may leave single puncture marks with burning pain. Park officials said other snakebites usually show several marks without burning pain.
Park officials emphasized that snakes are an important resource in the natural environment and they should be enjoyed from afar and left where they are found.
It is illegal to collect, kill or remove any plants or animals from the East Bay Regional Park District, officials said.