Almost 100 rattlesnakes were found and removed from under a California home by Sonoma County Reptile Rescue on October 2.
Al Wolf received a call from a woman who reported seeing a rattlesnake under her home, according to KTVU. Wolf arrived on the scene and was shocked at what he found next.
“Within a minute, I find a rattlesnake. Ok great,” Wolf told KTVU. “I get it into the bucket, and then I see a second rattlesnake. So I get that and put it into the bucket. Then I move another rock, and I find a third rattlesnake. Then I see two babies,” he said.
Wolf said the discovery of the snakes and “unmistakable smell” of rattlesnake excrement prompted him to go to his car to retrieve more tools, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
After nearly four hours of finding and removing snakes, Wolf collected a total of 81 venomous Northern Pacific rattlesnakes, including 59 babies from the Santa Rosa residence on the Mayacamas Mountains, according to the San Franciso Chronicle.
After his initial visit, Wolf went back to the home two more times and discovered an additional 11 snakes, raising the total to 92 venomous rattlesnakes. “I was tickled pink,” Wolf informed the Chronicle. “It’s what I like to do, and I generally get a call and find one, maybe two rattlesnakes. But when you start finding stuff like this, I think, ‘Oh good, this is a really worthwhile call.'”
“Damn — one house, that many,” he told KTVU. “That’s when I started getting happier and happier. I started thinking, ‘I wish this happened every day.'”
The babies were close to their first shed, which usually occurs ten to eleven days after birth, Wolf told the Chronicle.
“I’m in there with a flashlight … and check every nook and cranny before you can move forward,” Wolf told the San Francisco Chronicle. “It was a lot of physical work for several hours, breathing dirty, dusty, crummy stuff. Moving things aside to make a pathway back, and carefully checking, double-checking where things might come out of. That was the last 40 minutes: double-checking areas.”
After informing the resident what he found, she made what he found to be a comical comment: “She said something odd to me,” Wolf told KTVU. “She said, ‘Maybe that’s why I haven’t had a rodent problem.’ I said, ‘You think?'”
Images of the collected snakes were posted to Sonoma County Reptile Rescue’s Facebook account. “I got a call from somebody that said they had snakes under their house, 3 hours and 45 minutes later This is what I came out with, what would you do,” the post reads.
Wolf founded the nonprofit Sonoma County Reptile Rescue in 1989, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. He told the outlet that the rescue was the most snakes he has ever extracted from one home.
The snakes were most likely attracted to the rocks underneath the home, the reptile rescuer told KTVU. The homeowner wishes to remain anonymous.
Wolf released the snakes into the wild, according to KTVU. “Away from people and private property. It’s a beautiful animal. It belongs out there,” he said.
He plans to visit the residence once more by the end of October and in March or April when rattlesnakes breed, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.