Rattlesnake bites Everglades National Park ranger

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake bites Anthony Terry, says Miami-Dade Fire Rescue

By Steve Owen - Assistant News Director

EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. - A ranger at the Everglades National Park was rushed to the hospital after being bitten by a rattlesnake.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said Ranger Anthony Terry found the 5-and-a-half foot eastern diamondback rattlesnake inside his home in the Flamingo area of Everglades National Park on Saturday. He tried to remove it, but the snake bit him.

You can see Terry's swollen left hand in the above picture.

The Miami-Dade Fire Venom Team said it responded and provided anti-venom to the ranger, who was then airlifted to Homestead Baptist Hospital. Terry (pictured above) remains in intensive care but is expected to make a full recovery.

A bite from an eastern diamondback rattlesnake can be fatal in just two hours.

"The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is actually one of the heaviest, largest, and most dangerous species of rattlesnakes found in South Florida," said Tommy Gomez with the Miami Science Museum. "Six of Florida's 44 species of snakes are venomous; however, they usually don't poison people, they don't attack people. They reserve that for small prey."

According to National Geographic: "These stout-bodied pit vipers generally live in the dry, pine flatwoods, sandy woodlands, and coastal scrub habitats from southern North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana. Their pattern of yellow-bordered, light-centered black diamonds makes them among the most strikingly adorned of all North American reptiles. They are natural exterminators, surviving on such household pests as rats and mice, as well as squirrels and birds."

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