© By Othmar Vohringer
New Jersey On-Line published an article that has to be read to be believed. According to the newspaper a rare timber rattlesnake bit a 24-year old man. The unbelievable part of the story is that the man wanted to help the snake cross the road. As a self-described “snake lover” wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that he must have known that rattlesnakes are poisons and bite when they are touched? I guess not!
The man was driving on Rt. 679 near West Stage Road in Tuckerton about 6:30 p.m. when he saw the snake. He later told authorities that he used a stick to pin the snake’s body down, and then tried to grab its head and move it off the road.
But the rattlesnake, described as an adult, squirmed free, wrapped itself around the man’s arm, and bit his hand.
The mother of the young man who witnessed the snakebite said, that almost immediately the venom made his hand and mouth feel like pins and needles. His tongue began to swell. She said she was terrified when she saw the whites of her son’s eyes and was scared he was going to suffer a seizure. She immediately drove him to a nearby ranger station at Bass River State Park, where medical help was summoned. He was airlifted to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Campus in Galloway Township, where he received multiple antivenin treatments and remained under care for three days before he was released.
After the painful ordeal, the man says he has an increased respect for venomous snakes and he’ll give them more respect in future encounters. As far as helping rattlers to cross roads in the future, the man says he’ll use an extremely long stick. How about taking the advice of a park ranger who said, "We feel badly for the man, but we would advise people not to try to handle rattlesnakes."
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