El Niño brings very poisonous snake to California’s shore

(Last Updated On: October 17, 2015)

At least one Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake, known as “incredibly venomous,” has been seen at Silver Strand Beach near Oxnard. A local environmental group says it was probably brought to land by El Niño. The snake, which hasn’t been seen in California for 30 years, usually spends its entire life in the ocean, usually in warm tropical waters.

Two different people reported sightings in Oxnard but no one is certain if it was the same snake. The first person, Anna Iker, said she saw it Thursday but it was washed back out to sea. Robert Forbes saw one Friday morning, and called the state’s wildlife department. The snake had died by the time officials arrived. Its body was taken to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles.

According to, Heal the Bay’s coastal policy manager Dana Murray said “The Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake has some of the most poisonous venom and is a descendant from Asian cobras and Australian tiger snakes.”


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