Rattlesnake bites snake handler

Man helping turtle cross road bitten by eastern diamondback rattlesnake

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – An eastern diamondback rattlesnake bit a 24-year-old snake handler Tuesday afternoon, the second snake bite victim in a week, according to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue.

The 8-inch rattlesnake bit the man on his hand after he moved a turtle he was helping cross a road in the area of I-595 and I-75 in west Broward County. The man wasn't working at the time.

"Even at that small stage, they can put you in the hospital; however, they're so small, their venom glands aren't big enough to introduce a large quantity of venom," said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Jeff Fobb. "[The snake] was probably sitting there on the side of the road, in a cooler area, trying to protect itself from the heat, and he stuck his hand into a bad place."

The man drove himself to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was given six units of antivenin by Venom One, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's antivenin unit. The snake wasn't caught.

"This is the end of snake bite season. It's been a very rainy year, so water levels are high and the animals move to dry ground," said Fobb.

A park ranger who was bitten by a rattlesnake on Sept. 30 continues to recover.

A photo of an eastern diamondback rattlesnake