It's early summer, hot and dry in southern California, which means prime conditions for rattlesnakes to be out sunning themselves. With rattlesnakes on the move, there is a county wide push for people be on snake-watch.
Rattler season had an early start this year, with roughly a dozen people being bitten since April.
Experts says rattlesnakes can slither approximately 2-3 miles per hour, which means a person should typically be able to out-walk a snake. The reptile will rarely chase a human down, but even so, the push is on to warn residents of what they may encounter.
"Watch where you putting your hands, your feet. Make sure that you're dressed appropriately if you're out hiking. If you're working in areas where you could come in contact with the snakes," warns Kimberly McWhorter of Riverside County Animal Services.
Riverside County Animal Services says they are getting two to three phone calls a day of rattlesnakes, especially in western portions of the county.
"A lot of rural areas, and so you find a lot of people encroaching on their habitat, and coming into contact with them," according to Kimberly McWhorter of Riverside County Animal Services.
Roy Malleappah is part of a non-profit team of scientists and researchers on a humanitarian mission to develop better venom treatment worldwide.
"We love the people, and we love the snakes, and we bring equilibrium into this so that we don't kill the snakes, and also save the people. Then the people know that if they are bitten, they're not going to die, that is the crucial turning point to us," according to Roy Malleappah, of Animal Venom Research International.
Anti-venom is available, which is comforting especially since a striking snake can cover a foot in a split second.
"Most bites in California are attributed to young rattle snakes, but it's often in dealing with someone picking them up, not realizing they are rattlesnakes. So, the key thing is education, avoidance. Identify what you're dealing with," is advice according to Tracy Brehm-Ialden, a researcher.