A nearly five-foot rattlesnake caused a standoff with nature at the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station parking lot L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.

A nearly five-foot rattlesnake caused a standoff with nature at the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station parking lot
L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept.

A nearly five-foot long poisonous rattlesnake slithered its way up to the front doorstep of the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station on Fiji Way at about 4 p.m. on July 31, prompting a chase as the snake approached bicyclists traveling the nearby bike path.

Deputies contacted county Animal Control officers, who killed the snake after failed attempts to capture it. Animal Control officers on the scene told deputies the snake carried enough venom in its fangs that it could have killed several adults, said Dep. Amber Smith.

The rattlesnake’s origins remain unknown, but environmentalists have spotted others of its kind in the part of the Ballona Wetlands south of the Sheriff’s station.

Former Friends of the Ballona Wetlands Executive Director David Kay wrote in a March 5 blog post that he saw a baby rattlesnake during a wetlands cleanup organized by the state officials. Karina Johnston, director of watershed programs for the Bay Foundation at Loyola Marymount University, also confirmed it was a rattlesnake.

Several rattlesnakes have been seen in and around the south Ballona Creek levee, said Johnston, a restoration biologist.

“But I really couldn’t say anything about the actual population of them locally,” she said. “It is likely that there are at least several individuals in the area, and they are expected to be more active in the warmer, summer
months.”

— Gary Walker

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