SANTEE, Calif. — A rattlesnake wanted to come out and play at a playground in East County.
Fortunately, a father spotted it before a kid, or the snake was scared.
Rattlesnake wranglers said with the rain gone, more snakes are slithering out looking for food.
Alex Trejo with So-Cal Rattlesnake Removal said he is working overtime responding to calls.
“We had so much rain that it pushed the season back further than when snakes normally would start coming out. It was raining during that time,” said Trejo.
On Wednesday, Jeff Carver took his 5-year-old daughter, Penny Lane, to Big Rock Park in Santee when he spotted a rattlesnake slithering across the sidewalk.
“I came strolling up this sidewalk, Penny had already made it to the jungle gym, and I noticed the snake slithering across the sidewalk headed towards the equipment,” said Carver.
He says the snake coiled up by the rhino chair, stayed there until the Santee Fire Department responded.
“My biggest concern, frankly, was all kids; probably two dozen kids were running around. And when they heard that we had discovered this snake, they wanted to gather around and see it,” said Carver.
By the time the Santee Fire Department arrived, the kids high-tailed to a rock, but on the video, you can hear them yell with excitement, ‘he got him, he got him.’
A Deputy Fire Chief said Animal Control normally responds to rattlesnake calls, but since there was an imminent danger at a playground with children around, they caught the snake.
People can also call a snake wrangler.
“I've been catching them since I was a kid,” said Trejo.
He reviewed Carver’s video and believes the snake is a three or 4-year-old Southern Pacific Rattlesnake.
During the interview, his phone kept ringing. Trejo says he works 14–15-hour days responding to snakes found in yards and homes.
“When the vegetation is overgrown, like immensely, the snakes, therefore, have almost like a freeway of access, that they'll use the cover of the vegetation to work the way underneath and still be out, going where they want to go,” said Trejo.
He said, especially if it’s within 10 to 20 feet of a home.
“This is when people don't see the snake; now the snake has a straight shot to the side of the house where they still feel comfortable because of that overhang,” said Trejo.
Trejo recommends if you spot a rattlesnake, call a wrangler.
“So many men and people want to come out there and say, ‘Hey, let me just chop the head off.’ And that incident resulted in a bite, and now the person is in the hospital,” said Trejo.
Trejo recommends that if you are bitten, call for help and stay calm. He hopes people will better understand that rattlesnakes are not menacing creatures.
Trejo said since he is a humane service, they can remove snakes and relocates them to a remote area.
WATCH RELATED: San Diegan survives bites from rattlesnake at Torrey Pines Beach