Ticked Off Rattlesnake Leaves California Snake Handler’s Tongs Covered in Venom

by Amy Myers
Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

If you ever need a reminder of how much venom a rattlesnake can secrete, just watch this video of a reptile catcher’s encounter with a Southern Pacific rattler.

Alex Trejo has become something of a legend in southern California, and rightly so. He’s the face behind SoCal Rattlesnake Removal, a company that not only prioritizes safely relocating rattlers but also educating locals on these often misunderstood creatures.

In this case, Trejo ran into an especially angry Southern Pacific rattlesnake, one of the most venomous species in North America. And the snake didn’t waste any time demonstrating its lethality to the catcher and his team.

“These southern pacific rattlesnakes are very common here,” Trejo said. “[They] are most active early [in the] morning and evening/night time on hot summer days.”

When the snake catcher arrived at the residence, he had to hunt for the extremely dangerous snake within a pile of wood, where the customer initially spotted the scaly visitor.

“Eventually I found the snake and was able to get it out quickly,” Trejo told Newsweek.

As Trejo advanced, the rattlesnake struck his tongs, leaving a puddle of venom on the top of the instrument.

“You can literally see the venom on my tongs,” Trejo pointed out.

Watch the terrifying encounter here.

Rattlesnake Pro Encounters Much Gentler Snake Coiled up on Pile of Rock

As the previous rattlesnake demonstrated, these reptiles are more than capable of defending themselves and will strike if they feel the need. But not all of the rescues that Trejo performs are quite so dramatic.

Just last month, the rattlesnake wrangler came across a neatly coiled serpent resting beside a pile of rocks near a SoCal local’s home. As Trejo and his team approached, the snake stuck out its tongue to assess the situation, but didn’t so much as lift a single scale to square up against the professionals. Instead, it calmly remained in place and willingly allowed Trejo to lift the bundled vertebrate from its sunny spot and into the bucket. Even in the container, the snake remained completely still, unbothered by its new location.

“Another gentle capture,” Trejo said in response to the rescue. “It amazes me how these snakes can respond!”

Of course, “They aren’t always like this,” he added.

It’s hard to say why this rattlesnake responded so placidly to its capture. Perhaps the creature was just too drowsy to put up a fight. It’s also possible, with southern California’s recent droughts, that the reptile was also pretty dehydrated and in need of relocation to survive.

Whatever the reason, the rattlesnake was lucky to run into Trejo and his team who transported the snake to an open area with plenty of resources.