A man was bitten by a five and a half foot rattlesnake on Sunday, April 9.
Polk County officials says the incident happened on the River Ranch hunting grounds around 6:30 p.m.
Witnesses told Fire rescue crews that someone shot the snake in the midsection and the man thought the snake was dead so he picked it up. The snake ended up biting him on his hand.
“You have to be extremely careful with wildlife. Leave snake handling to the professionals,” said Battalion Chief Bobby Bohn. “We all know there are a lot of rattlesnakes in the River Ranch/Indian Lake Estates area. Just last month our crews were extinguishing a brush fire when one slithered by.”
The man was airlifted to Osceola Regional Medical Center so that anti-venom could be administered.
Polk County officials are holding an EMS Symposium on Tuesday, May 23 for anyone interested in learning more about treating snakebites and envenomation care. Click here to register.