A Word for the Rattlesnakes

I read about the rattlesnakes coming supposedly from Hidden Hills (June 25), and I'd like to put in a good word for the poor snakes.

They come from anywhere. I have them in my yard, and I never kill one or call the police. I just let it wander on. (I live south of the Woodland Hills Country Club, not very far from Mulholland and near wild land).

Rattlesnakes are much more afraid of those homeowners than vice versa, and with good reason, as witness your picture. A rattlesnake will strike only if threatened, stepped on, picked up, frightened, etc. He is even polite enough to warn you with his distinctive rattle, so if you keep your eyes and wits about you and watch where you step you have no need to fear. Yes, they are looking for water, and they are also looking for rats and mice, small rodents, gophers, moles and various garden pests.

I have lived at this address for 25 years, and I also hike all through the Santa Monica Mountains. I take hiking groups, including adults and schoolchildren, and we see rattlesnakes in the national and state parks, along the trails. It is against the law to kill them in the parks, so we give them room and they slither on. A king snake will eat a rattler if those homeowners want to fight back, but they might change their attitude if they knew that no rattlesnake will chase you or come after you. He'd much rather run than fight, but screaming or chasing him with a hoe or ax may provoke him to action.

ALICE H. SELZER

Woodland Hills

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
62°