PARRISH, FLA.- — A Manatee County homeowner is recovering after a venomous snake bit him on the hand.
CK Chorley said he was mowing the lawn and pulling weeds outside his home in Parrish on Saturday.
He was bitten on his finger by a cottonmouth. The snake was underneath some hedges and blended in well with the leaves.
"So I started down the hedge row and I’ve done this so many times I can’t count. I stuck my hand under there and it really felt like I hit a palm thorn. It was just kind of a poke and then I saw recoil and caught an image of the snake and knew I needed to do something at that point," said CK Chorley.
Chorley said he took a photo of the snake so he could later identify it.
He called his wife who encouraged him to go to a hospital.
"A lot of swelling that was localized in the middle finger where it happened and it started traveling, going up into the palm and into the lower extremities and that’s what they wanted to stop as quickly as possible when I got there," said Chorley.
Chorley spent a night in the hospital and is recovering at home.
"They gave me four doses of antivenom. Those are given through an IV and after every treatment or IV bag, they do a blood panel and they want to make sure your platelets are looking good and that there’s not any clotting in the blood so they keep you for observation I was there for about 30 hours, said Chorley.
Chorley said he has not seen the snake since the incident. He encourages people to learn from his mistake and be careful doing yard work.
"Learn from my mistake, wear gloves and maybe use a shovel to poke around at the base of a bush before you get started," said Chorley.
"I’ve never had an unhealthy fear of snakes even after getting bit by this snake. I got in his area and he responded so I think moving forward, I have to be more careful."
Chris Wirt, the owner of AAAC Wildlife Removal of Tampa Bay, said cottonmouths usually strike when they feel threatened or cornered. He said cottonmouths may move when it rains to get to dry land and to follow a food source.
According to the FWC, cottonmouths are found throughout Florida in wet areas, including streams, lakes, marshes, swamps, retention ponds, and roadside ditches, although they can wander far from water.
For more information on cottonmouths/water moccasins visit this site.