2 venomous sea Serpents wash ashore in SoCal this year.
For the second time in two months, a “highly venomous” yellow-bellied sea snake has washed ashore on a Southern California beach, this time in Orange County.
The exotic reptile — seen only three times on the state’s shoreline in the past three decades — was found by a volunteer at a Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation beach cleanup event on Dec. 12 at Bolsa Chica State Beach, according to the Museum of Natural History of Los Angeles.
Tony Soriano, the foundation’s chairman, said the 275 volunteers who had showed up for the beach cleanup initially did not realize what species the snake was, or that it was even venomous.
His son figured it out after doing a search on Google, Soriano added. After learning of the discovery, the curator of the Museum of Natural History contacted him.
Until the museum’s assistant curator showed up at Soriano’s home, he had kept the dead snake in a Ziploc bag in his refrigerator.
“That’s a rare find,” he said. “We had no clue what we had.”
The finding marks the third documented instance of a yellow-bellied sea snake washing up in Southern California. In October, the reptile — which lives its entire life in the ocean — was spotted at Silver Strand Beach in the Oxnard area.
The “highly venomous” black-and-yellow snake typically lives in warmer waters off the coasts of Mexico, Africa, Asia and Australia, according to a Facebook post from the Huntington Beach Surfrider Foundation.