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San Diego Gopher Snake

Pituophis catenifer annectens


This native Gopher Snake was tan with dark brown splotches on the top and sides. It was about 4 ft long and was spotted early one morning all knotted up in garden/bird netting. This series shown in reverse order documents what could have been a long and torturous death for this beneficial and beautiful snake. The snake was tired and had clearly worked hard to get out of the netting which was compressing its head and body. I cut the netting away slowly and carefully which took almost 10 minutes. I then carefully held the snake to warm it before releasing it. Video links in notes.


Caught in garden/bird netting in a residential yard surrounded by Chaparral. This subspecies is found along the western coast of Southern California, down to northern Baja California. It thrives in grassland, sage scrub, woodland, chaparral, riparian, mountain and coastal habitats.


iPhone series video of the end of the rescue and the release

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Thank you Maria and Tukup!!! Spotting reptiles is so fun and never gets old!

Tukup 2 months ago

You've got some great snake shots Cindy, and good notes too. Thanks for sharing. I'm going to enjoy working through them.

Maria dB
Maria dB a year ago

Great educational spotting - thanks for rescuing the snake!

Thank you again!!! I'm so glad I've been able to submit worthy spottings!

AshleyT a year ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Thank you Lauren! I was so happy I could help. We enjoyed seeing this snake periodically through that summer but haven't seen it since.
I'm glad you like the flies! They're so underappreciated :-)

LaurenZarate a year ago

So wonderful Cindy that you saved him! He's probably quite old also, being so large. I love all your pictures! The ones I saw recently of your Leptogastrinae Robber Flies are marvelous!

Thank you Dawn and Mark! I have been busy! My online game has been slow but nature never stops! Glad I can get a little caught up. I missed the PN community.

We appreciate you helping the snake and warming it and then releasing!

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway a year ago

Nice job. You have been busy lately. ;-)

Amazing!! Love the story and photos. So happy you were able to save the snake!!

Thank you Antonio, Neil and mauna! It was quite an experience for us and the snake! Glad it had a happy ending :-)

mauna Kunzah
mauna Kunzah a year ago

Awesome work! I enjoyed this story and its outcome. 馃憦馃徏

Neil Ross
Neil Ross a year ago

Awesome story, Cindy. I love the videos too. This spotting sould be added to the 2019 Best Photos mission. It doesn't get much more "species interactive" than this :)

Great story Cindy,super cool,beautiful snake,you rock :-)

Hi Sergio! You know most of us here would do the same thing :-)

Great story, Cindy. You are my hero.

It was very lucky! I was more than happy to save it :-)

SukanyaDatta a year ago

How lucky that it could be saved.....thank you .

California, USA

Spotted on May 13, 2017
Submitted on May 31, 2019

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