Snake bite sends Worth County man to ER -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Snake bite sends Worth County man to ER

July 14, 2005

Worth County- Recent heavy rain isn't just bringing out mosquitoes, more dangerous creatures are also on the move.  Wet weather is forcing snakes out of flooded areas and into backyards.

There are 45 snake species in South Georgia. Some are venomous including rattle snakes, copperheads, cottonmouths, and eastern coral snakes. If you find one in your yard you should probably leave it alone. In one Worth County's man's case, the snake found him. Steve Bryant was doing yard work Monday and got the surprise of his life when lifted a few limbs.

"I thought a bee had stung me, but when I looked up and saw the two blood holes I knew it wasn't a bee because I have been stung by a bee and it was probably ten times greater than a bee sting," said Bryant.

Clearing the brush Steven and his nephew found the source, a snake. "Snakes would be more active and more likely to be on the move, so you'd want to watch out for them this time of the year," said Julie Robbins, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Georgia Department of Environmental Resources Wildlife Division.

"I knew when my left arm started going numb it was time to go to the hospital," said Bryant.

Steven was smart enough to throw the snake into a clearing and hit it with a board, killing it.

"I took the snake with me, because I didn't know what it was," said Bryant.

The snake was venomous. He was given four vials of anti venom at Phoebe Putney's ER and spent 48 hours in the hospital.

"Brushy piles like this provide good forage for snakes. There's a lot of small animals and lizards and even birds associated with these piles of brush," said Robbins.

Neighborhoods built up next to wooded areas, like Steven's, tend to be snake prone. If you see a snake there are ways to know whether it's poisonous.

"With the venomous snakes, what you'll see a very pronounced jaw, side of the jaw, you can also see on the rattle snakes and cottonmouths pits on the side of the face," said Robbins.

Steven says he learned his lesson and will use a rake in the future to spread out brush before picking it up. He cautions others to be careful.

"All this water when you go to move something, be sure to look first and look twice," said Bryant.

The Department of Natural Resources says most bites occur when people are trying to kill the snake. On average, fewer than ten people die from snakebites in the U.S. every year.

The DNR also reminds us that all snakes in Georgia are protected, and it's illegal to kill a non venomous snake.