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Rattlesnake Season Hits UC High Campus Yet Again

Jessica Almario, News Editor

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   As the school year comes to a close and summer nears, rattlesnake sightings are becoming more frequent on the UC High campus.

According to Principal Jeff Olivero, rattlesnakes are commonly seen during the seasons of spring and fall. “What you typically get is that at the beginning in spring, rattlesnakes begin to come out after hibernation, so that’s what we’re seeing,” explained Olivero.

However, there have been more sightings of rattlesnakes this year than in previous years. “Typically, we may get one or two [rattlesnakes] through the whole year. Within the last five weeks, I think we’ve had five that have been spotted by different people at different times,” stated Olivero. “One afternoon, there was one spotted by people going up the ramp to the upper fields.”

According to the Times of San Diego website, rattlesnake season typically peaks during the hot summer months, but there has been a spike in rattlesnake sightings this spring (

Generally, staff members have been reporting sightings of rattlesnakes. Students have not made any reports of sightings, according to Vice Principal Mike Paredes.

According to the CW6 San Diego website, the Department of Animal Services for San Diego County has received hundreds of complaints from people who have seen rattlesnakes. This year alone, animal control officers have responded to over 400 calls regarding rattlesnakes around people’s homes (

Paredes attributes the rattlesnake sightings to the construction going on around campus. “It [rattlesnakes] has been an issue in previous years, but I think part of the reason why we’re seeing them more is because we have folks who are doing construction in different parts of campus that normally aren’t populated during the hottest part of the day,” stated Paredes.

There are specific areas on campus where students should be particularly cautious of rattlesnakes. “People need to be really cautious around the bungalow area, as well as the P.E. area,” said Olivero.

According to Paredes, rattlesnakes are most likely to be seen in areas surrounded by bushes.

According to Paredes, the staff has been notified about these areas. “Notification is key. Different members of the administration team have sent out areas to be concerned about,” said Paredes.

According to Olivero, emails have been sent out to alert the teachers about each rattlesnake sighting.

Paredes explained how he specifically would respond to a report of a rattlesnake sighting: “If I get a report that I’ve got a student who might be in the hilly area or off the main part of campus, I’m a lot more precautious. That’s how we respond to security calls. We’re taking more precautions and trying to be more aware.”

The rattlesnake sightings do not pose any serious threats as long as precautions are taken, according to Olivero. “No classes have been cancelled or anything like that. I think it’s just the worry of walking up on one. I don’t think they intend to be seen because they’re seeking food. That’s what’s driving them wherever they’re going,” explained Olivero.

“To me, it hasn’t really impacted the daily instruction or the things that go on because most of our classrooms are located in areas where we’re not going to run into any snakes. It’s just these hilly areas all around us,” said Paredes.

According to Olivero, rattlesnakes cannot be exterminated, but measures have been taken to ensure the safety of students and staff. “I believe there are ordinances against killing snakes, but I know there have been some that have been taken care of,” said Olivero.

According to the Patch website, rattlesnake bites can be avoided if the rattlesnakes are not touched, or if there is a distance kept from them. Authorities must be notified right away, and rattlesnakes cannot be caught without help (

Aside from UC High, rattlesnake sightings have been prevalent throughout San Diego County. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune website, more than 155 rattlesnakes have been removed by the county from homes and public spaces. Although rattlesnakes can be harmful to humans, they are critical to the ecosystem because they control rodent populations. Rattlesnake bites can cause painful swelling, but rarely cause fatal injuries. The most at risk for potentially deadly impacts are with children and pets (

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Rattlesnake Season Hits UC High Campus Yet Again