The following excerpts are from comments in response to Alamo resident Rich Conti finding a rattlesnake in his back yard.
Great story ... I found that if one substitutes just about any politician in place of the snake, it still makes for a really good story!
Posted by James
Why not call animal control and have the snake released up on Diablo? They are part of the ecosystem and help keep the rodent population under control. Shame they decided to kill it. We get all kinds of snakes including rattlers around our development. We always let them make their way to the open space.
Posted by Mike
I am outraged! How hard and strong would you fight if you had your neck was in a noose? Think again!! This magnificent serpent didn't attack you or even your barking dog. Building your home in serpent territory comes with responsibilities. Rattlesnakes don't stalk people. Be aware - take care - and let be those that were meant to be free.
Posted by Neighbor
My home backs up to the open space and I am not surprised to hear this story at all. One week ago there was a young, two-foot-long rattler at the base of our front stairs; it was immobile because the sun had gone down and getting cool out so, I sat and watched it while my wife called vector control to retrieve it. Vector control showed up within the hour, he got out of his van, grabbed his pole and a plastic bag (red flag) and got the snake into the bag, with quite a fight to get it in there. I asked what was going to be done with the snake and his response was "euthanize it." He continued by saying that Mount Diablo has more than its share of rattlers and that is why we are starting to see more of them. Your quick action could quite possibly have saved someone from a snake bite.
Posted by Michael
Sorry people - in our neighborhood we have lots of small children and pets - the snakes need to be eradicated, not given a free ride to another area.
Posted by Debby
Can you imagine a child or pet coming across this snake? It took two adult men to kill this snake, it easily could have seriously harmed or killed a kid. I 100% agree with the decision to kill this snake.
Posted by Danville neighbor
Mr.Conti did the right thing under the circumstances. I have called the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in the past for "wild Life" help, but their response time is not quick enough to be useful under these circumstances. Finally, I think that Danville has a "huge" cougar problem that needs to be addressed. I suggest closing all bars after at 8 p.m. on weekends. That may also have an indirect affect on the snake problem.
Posted by A Live Coward
Are you guys kidding me? While I completely agree it is unnecessary to kill things for no reason, Rich had more than enough cause. There is a dangerous animal living in his backyard where his family resides every day. Do you think the snake would have thought twice about biting Rich if he was in the snake's territory? Absolutely not. When animals grow way beyond their average size (as seen in this case) that is a sign of a healthy habitat for that particular species. Clearly rattlesnakes are doing just fine in the East Bay. Rich acted just as I hope everyone would have acted in his situation...thinking about the safety of his family, neighbors, and friends above all else.
Posted by Common Sense
OK. I will not kill anymore snakes as I have done in the past. All those who want the snakes, please post your address and next time I will throw them over your fence into your yard for safe keeping.
Posted by Ron
Thank you, Rich, for protecting our neighborhoods! I have a feeling there is going to be a run on snake grabbers on ebay!
Posted by Grateful neighbor
I live off El Cerro and found a very large rattlesnake in my yard a few years ago. I called both the Danville police and Animal Control but NO ONE would come get it. The police said "call Animal Control" but Animal Control never showed up. My neighbor finally killed the snake. I'm with Ron: "All those who want the snakes, please post your address and next time I will throw them over your fence into your yard for safe keeping."
Posted by Susie
Move over, Sully. Conti for Town Council!
Posted by Citizen Paine
You're all a bunch of wimps. Walk around the serpent and let it live. And by the way, when's the last time anyone actually has been bitten by a rattler in this area? If it happened, it would be front and center on this Web site.
Posted by who me?
Actually, two humans and three dogs were bitten by rattlesnakes in our neighborhood in the past 10 years. We kill rattlesnakes and leave gopher snakes to do their thing.
Posted by Susan
I worked for the Department of Natural Resources for two summers in a "people to the parks program." The naturalist and I gave outdoor workshops for groups enjoying the parks. The most important thing to remember about all snakes, is they are born and live within a 50-yard radius their whole life. So unless the snake is removed and relocated to the other side of the mountain where nobody lives, the snake will find its way back! Let's not be so smug, pets, and kids, are more important to our society than rattlers!
Posted by Nan
It's a well documented fact that rattlesnakes have a striking distance of twice their body length. Six times two equals a 12-foot striking range. It takes one teaspoon of venom to bring down a 180-pound human male. An adult rattlesnake of that size has 4 tablespoons of venom. Do the math. That is VERY dangerous to have in our neighborhood. I don't know about you, but it scares the crap out of me to think of all the kids this snake could have bitten. Simply removing the snake would not solve the problem. The snake was obviously eating well in the neighborhood.
Posted by Eric
Rattlesnakes can only strike half their body length, it is a myth that they strike any father, they do not have the muscle mass or body strength to "spring" forward. A 4-foot individual will strike a about 2 feet. Rattlesnakes do wander and roam, currently there is some research being done on how far they really go but most scientists agree they go about 2-8 miles from place of birth. But humans destroy their habitat, drought and lack of food makes any animal wander from their natural territory in such of food and safety. Snakes have a place in nature, they are not evil, mystical, can't jump, fly or out waiting to kill us. They are just one of the many creatures out there that uses venom as the only defense it has to get food and protect itself. More people die from car accidents than snakes bite every year.
Posted by a snake hobbyist