The University sees an increase in snake sightings in the warmer months, especially Spring and Summer. Due in large part to our beautiful Southern California weather and our lush campus landscape, it is not uncommon for a variety of snakes native to this area to want to come out and enjoy the weather and campus festivities as well. It is important to take into consideration some very simple safety measures to keep you safe as well as protect the native wildlife on campus.
- When walking in more rural areas of the campus like behind the dorms, the walkway to Kellogg West and in J and M parking lots to watch your step and if you plan to walk in the evening hours, consider having a flashlight to light your way. It will keep you safe from wandering critters as well as avoiding trip hazards.
- If you see a snake in high-traffic areas, leave it be and call University Police Department at (909) 869-3070.
- Never attempt to handle a snake or other types of wildlife on campus. While our campus is beautiful, the critters like to enjoy it too so for your safety and theirs, avoid feeding and handling any wildlife.
- Remember that often times, snakes are more afraid of people than we are of them. Often spotting a snake is enough encouragement for the snake to move on to less populated areas.
What happens to the snakes?
Our top priority is the health and safety of employees, students and visitors to the campus. If a snake is in a high-traffic area, we will dispatch a trained snake handler to move it to a safe location away from people. The University values the welfare of all animals and therefore makes every effort to preserve the wellbeing and safety of snakes by relocating to an ecological preserve away from high-traffic areas.
The following web sites contain valuable safety information on snakes and hiking. If you routinely hike in isolated or natural areas on campus you should review this information thoroughly.
Rattlesnake Safety Escondido Fire Department at http://www.ci.escondido.ca.us/fire/safety/other/rattlesnakes/
Snake Safety from the California Department of Fish & Game at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/News/Snake