Aug. 11 (UPI) -- A pregnant California woman said she and her unborn child were lucky to evade injury or worse when she found a massive rattlesnake in her yard.
Sarah Guthals said she was in the back yard of her home in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego on Wednesday afternoon when she spotted the venomous serpent hiding in a bush.
"It was about as tall as I am and it was pretty terrifying," Guthals told KGTV.
Guthals said she contacted the San Diego County Department of Animal Services and the animal control officer who captured the rattlesnake told her it was the biggest one he has seen all year.
"When he picked it up, it was about five feet long," she said.
Guthals said she has been trying to make her back yard safer for the baby, which is due in a few months, but Wednesday's encounter made her uneasy.
"Now I'm even more terrified," Guthals said.
The Department of Animal Services said they have fielded 921 calls about rattlesnakes this year, up from 725 at the same time last year.
California is not the only place were unusual rattlesnake activity has been reported recently -- a couple walking the beach on South Carolina's Hilton Head Island captured video earlier this month of a large rattlesnake that slithered out of the ocean and explored the beach.
Experts confirmed the beach-going reptile was an eastern diamondback rattlesnake. They suggested the serpent may have been swimming when it was carried away by the tide and ended up on the island beach.