A rattlesnake found outside the Sebastopol Police Department on Sunday prompted a Sonoma County reptile expert to remind people that snake season is here.

Al Wolf, director of Sonoma County Reptile Rescue, said rattlesnakes recently have become more active, and people should keep their eyes open while gardening or enjoying the outdoors.

Wolf was called to the Sebastopol Police Department on Sunday after a rattlesnake was discovered near the station. An officer had cornered the snake near the parking lot, Wolf said.

"They had the snake under surveillance when I arrived," Wolf said.

Each year, the rescue center traps about 300 snakes, which are released in rural areas, said Wolf, who retired from the San Francisco Zoo about 10 years ago.

"Once you see them, you are safe," he said. "Don't overreact."

For more information on how to manage snakes or other reptiles, call the rescue center at 829-8152. For emergency removal of a rattlesnake, call 321-0504.