PROSSER, Wash. – Turns out, even beheaded rattlesnakes can be dangerous. That’s what 53-year-old Danny Anderson learned as he was feeding his horses Monday night, when a 5-foot rattler slithered onto his central Washington property, about 50 miles southeast of Yakima.
Anderson and his 27-year-old son, Benjamin, pinned the snake with an irrigation pipe and cut off its head with a shovel. A few more strikes to the head left it sitting under a pickup truck.
“When I reached down to pick up the head, it raised around and did a backflip almost, and bit my finger,” Anderson said. “I had to shake my hand real hard to get it to let loose.”
His wife insisted they go to the hospital, and by the time they arrived at Prosser Memorial Hospital 10 minutes later, Anderson’s tongue was swollen and the venom was spreading. He then was taken by ambulance 30 miles to a Richland hospital to get the full series of six shots he needed.
The snake head ended up in the bed of his pickup, and Anderson landed in the hospital until Wednesday afternoon.
WOW, BON, thanks for the article, I hadn’t thought of my snake bite in quite a few years.
When I was about 8, a snake bit me. I thought it was my pet squirrel monkey (yeah, the kind you could buy from an ad in the back of Good Housekeeping magazine; the ad showed a little monkey sitting in a teacup. I wonder how many of y’all remember that!) So, I had one…in my lifetime, actually three squirrels, plus some other monkeys later, but those are stories for other days!
My little monkey would often climb up my leg, and on to my shoulder, so I thought it was him, until I felt the bite. Being pi$$ed off, I kicked my leg, to sling my little monkey friend off, and lo and behold, I saw this long, black writhing thing fly thru the air. I knew instantly what it was – a SNAKE.
That very afternoon, while a worker was tearing down an old building on the place where we had recently built our new house, he came upon a Cotton Mouth and killed it. Apparently his snakey mate or friend became highly irritated and was looking to get revenge. Cotton Mouths are well known for being territorial and highly aggressive, so I know he was just waiting for me!
As I got bit, I remember going into a moving state of shock – I ran screaming to the house, but everything was a blur – I had a kind of out-of-body experience I will NEVER forget. My mom came out to see what was happening, and when I told her, and she, seeing the blood running down my leg, immediately started trying to suck the venom out of the wound.
We did EVERYTHING WRONG, now that I have grown up and have learned the correct way to deal with snakebites. Don’t run and don’t suck! Luckily, mom didn’t have any tooth cavities or mouth wounds; luckily, I kicked the snake off my leg before he really got his venom in, and we headed straight to the emergency room (only 17 miles away!)
We knew it was a cottonmouth because (1) one had just been killed here the same day, and (2) when my mom was sucking on my leg, she almost vomited because of the smell – those suckers like to wallow around in cow patties!
Anyhooooo, they didn’t do anything horrid to me at the hospital besides give me a shot of antibiotics, make me stay overnight, and I didn’t have too many bad nightmares…….I got to eat a lot of ice cream there too!
Now, I have a healthy respect for snakes, always walk looking down, (since I live in the country), and only chop the heads off the copperheads that take up residence at my back door. Otherwise, I leave ’em be, because I know they have a place and a purpose on Earth!
Moral to the story, all this stuff wouldn’t have happened to me or that guy if we just hadn’t killed those snakes.