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    Someone mailed a live rattlesnake to a California man. He thinks it was attempted murder.

    By Anthony Robledo, USA TODAY,

    26 days ago
    A rattlesnake is pictured in tall grass. liveslow / Getty Images

    A Southern California truck driver received an unexpected package with a live rattlesnake inside, leading him to believe it was attempted murder.

    The man called 911 after he picked up a package at the Twentynine Palms post office and made the discovery last week, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office Department told USA TODAY on Wednesday.

    Officers responded and forwarded the report to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which is conducting an investigation, sheriff's office spokesperson Mara Rodriguez said. Animal Control took the snake into custody.

    The driver, 60-year-old Elijah Bowles, said someone had placed cotton balls inside the box to prevent postal workers from hearing the snake's rattle, according to the Los Angeles Times . He estimated the snake was about 2 feet long, the LA Times reported.

    "That’s attempted murder, if you ask me," Bowles told the newspaper.

    Snake had been in the mail system for 2 weeks

    Bowles' friend opened the package in a car as they drove away from the post office, the LA Times reported.

    "When she opened the box, she threw it at me almost," Bowles said. "And she says, 'There’s a snake in there.'"

    Bowles quickly pulled over and set the box outside by the curb, using a stick to open it. He soon called 911 and Animal Control.

    A postal inspector said the package was marked “fragile” in black marker and listed a return address to a home in home in Palm Coast, Florida, the LA Times reported. The package was mailed in Hayward, California, on May 3.

    Rick Boyd, the Animal Control supervisor for Twentynine Palms, said the reptile was a Western rattlesnake, also known as the Northern Pacific rattlesnake, which is usually found in Northern California instead of Southern California.

    Anyone who is bitten by a rattlesnake should seek medical treatment within half an hour as a bite can be fatal if left untreated, according to Healthline. If untreated, a rattlesnake bite can cause organ failure and death in two to three days.

    This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Someone mailed a live rattlesnake to a California man. He thinks it was attempted murder.

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