Rattlesnake Kills Pennsylvania Man

Tad Arensmeier/Creative Commons

Not a common occurrence in Pennsylvania, according to the article. The state is home to both the timber rattler and the Eastern massasauga; the former, a largish species of rattlesnake, would seem to be the culprit in this case, judging from range maps and its well-attested history as a dangerous snake. This man suffered an allergic reaction; the same bite would have had milder effects on most people.  

Man dies after being bitten by rattlesnake while camping - WHP CBS 21 Harrisburg - Top Stories: "Authorities say a western Pennsylvania man died after he was bitten by a rattlesnake while sitting near a campfire.

Armstrong County Coroner Brian Myers says 39-year-old Russell Davis, of Freedom, Beaver County, was camping with his family Saturday in Weedville, Elk County. He was bitten shortly before midnight."



Thanks to Steve V. for the news tip. 

4 comments:

  1. In his book "Venomous snakes of the world" (Princeton, 2005), the famous english herpetologist Mark O'Shea tells his dramatic experience with the timber rattler, also called "canebrake":
    "My most serious snakebite was received from a one meter female 'canebrake', in a group that I was feeding with thawed out rats. Using her heat-sensitive pits she maneuvered into a position to strike me in the wrist. Defensive snakebites may be dry bites (no venom) or they may inject a sub-lethal dose of venom but prey-taking bites are intended to kill, and this one almost did. In the next five minutes I secured the snakes and locked the cage, collected the antivenom from the fridge and just managed to raise the alarm before the venom rendered me unconscious. Upon regaining consciousness I discovered I had lost my vision and virtually the ability to speak but I became incredibly sensitive to sound. In the ambulance I experienced an electrifying surge of venom and knew if I allowed myself to became unconscious again I might never wake up. Ironically I keep myself conscious for the twenty minutes high-speed, police escorted journey to hospital by tryingto remember the names of all the rattlesnake species, in Latin. I usually get to around 29 easily and then have to think hard. I was hospitalized for nine days, lost the feeling in my arm for several weeks and almost lost my life".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fascinating. The part about losing sensation in the bitten limb commonly reported.

      Delete
  2. Has stated this is not a common occurrence since in the USA venomous snakes like the timber rattler kill only around 5/6 people every year, and that for all species combined.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, fatalities are quite rare, and about half the victims are folks who put themselves in harm's way by teasing snakes. However, I was trying to say that even being bitten by a rattler is rare in Pennsylvania.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...