A rattlesnake recently rattled deputies at the sheriff’s Marina del Rey station, a sergeant said today.
The 3-foot-long reptile was found at 4 p.m. on July 31 at the sheriff’s station at 13851 Fiji Way, said Sgt. Amore Smith.
The snake was discovered in the parking lot in front of a curb marked “visitors,” Smith said.
Deputies had attempted to confine the rattlesnake while awaiting the arrival of animal control.
During the encounter the deputies were able to briefly confine the rattlesnake, but it escaped and began to quickly move towards the Marina bicycle path which was heavily populated with bicyclists, pedestrians walking their dogs, as well as mothers walking with their children.
The deputies identified the immediate threat to the public and became concerned for the safety of the residents and visitors on the bicycle path.
Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control arrived on scene and a joint effort ensued to try to safely capture the rattlesnake. The rattlesnake moved quickly and the safety of the deputies and the animal control agent became compromised. The deputies and animal control placed themselves in harm’s way to try to capture the rattlesnake since a safe distance for a rattlesnake sighting is approximately 15 feet. Deputies in conjunction with animal control, made a decision to end the rattlesnake’s life to prevent it from biting a member of the public because it’s safe capture could not be accomplished.
The rattlesnake, according to animal control, carried enough venom to cause death to several large adults. It is believed that the rattlesnake may have migrated from the Ballona Wetlands.