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Man bitten by rattlesnake in luggage
CNN online ^ | March 24, 2008 | CNN Staff

Posted on 03/25/2008 4:59:05 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets

ARLINGTON, Virginia (CNN) -- A suburban Washington man was bitten Monday by a rattlesnake that found its way into his luggage, a fire department spokesman said.

An Eastern diamondback rattlesnake appears in a photo from the U.S. Geological Survey.

"He felt a sharp pain, brought his hand out and saw the bite," said Benjamin Barksdale, assistant chief and chief fire marshal of the Arlington County, Virginia, Fire Department.

Andrew Bacas zipped his bag shut and called 911 at about 9:30 a.m. ET, the official said.

"He was conscious and alert but a little anxious," Barksdale said of the victim. The bite from the young Eastern diamond rattlesnake was not life-threatening, and the man is being treated at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, he said.

"We took the bag outside and used a [carbon dioxide] fire extinguisher to freeze the snake," killing it, Barksdale said.

(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Outdoors; Travel; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: rattlesnake; snakebite
Reminds me of Truman Capote's chilling Handcarved Coffins.
1 posted on 03/25/2008 4:59:06 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Who packed his bags?


2 posted on 03/25/2008 5:03:13 AM PDT by cornbreadmuffin (I WANT NEWT FOR PRESIDENT....I WANT NEWT FOR PRESIDENT....I WANT NEWT)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Speerstra said the snake was about 10 inches long and appeared to be a juvenile.

Even the babies can put a bad hurt on you.

3 posted on 03/25/2008 5:06:14 AM PDT by Ditto (Global Warming: The 21st Century's Snake Oil)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

TSA: Can I rifle through your luggage?

Citizen: SUUUUUUUURE!!!!


4 posted on 03/25/2008 5:11:36 AM PDT by relictele (American Idol: for those times when karaoke at a local bar just isn't horrid enough)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

TSA: Can I rifle through your luggage?

Citizen: SUUUUUUUURE!!!!


5 posted on 03/25/2008 5:11:50 AM PDT by relictele (American Idol: for those times when karaoke at a local bar just isn't horrid enough)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

They used a fire extinguisher? What a g@y way to kill a snake.


6 posted on 03/25/2008 5:14:10 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Member of the irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.)
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Andrew Bacas zipped his bag shut and called 911

Very smart. Cool thinking while under stress.

It is important when bitten by a snake to be able to identify the type of snake it was so that the proper anti-venom is administered.

The best possible way is to have the snake available for the emergency personnel to inspect.

8 posted on 03/25/2008 5:25:23 AM PDT by Pontiac (Your message here.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

How that man got into the luggage, I’ll never know ...


9 posted on 03/25/2008 5:27:31 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: Ditto
Even the babies can put a bad hurt on you.

Rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal to healthy young adults. Most snake bites are not classified as "legimate", i.e., most people bitten by snakes in the U.S. were actually handling the snakes.

The story is "fishy" (or at least reptilian) but you never know. Kittens will fall asleep in your socks draw or an open overnight bag. Why not a baby rattler?

Guy I know served in the Air Force after getting out of college, (in the days of the draft) and spent some time with his Massachusetts born and raised wife in Texas. At the base where they were stationed, people used to catch rattlesnakes at lunch time and turn them in for a $10 bounty to some research lab.

She found a large dead rattler on a jogging track and had her picture taken holding it up at arms length. As you probably know, rattlers are viviparous, they retain their eggs until they hatch. Needless to say, shortly after that picture as taken, hundreds of tiny lillul baby rattlers came slithering out of the big dead old moma rattler.

Guy himself used to chase rattlers with a lasso on a pole and bag them, mostly for sport. Generally, a snake will try to escape but, one day, one big ole boy turned and started chasing him, at about 3 mph. Very uncharacteristic for snakes, even rattlers. Needless to say, he never went "rattlering" again.

10 posted on 03/25/2008 5:28:36 AM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (The women got the vote and the Nation got Harding.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

11 posted on 03/25/2008 6:16:40 AM PDT by Daffynition (The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Same story, more detail: Stowaway Rattlesnake Bites Virginia Man

A high school coach emptying his luggage after a team trip to South Carolina was bitten by a small rattlesnake that had somehow gotten into his bag, authorities said.

Andy Bacas was stable condition at Inova Fairfax Hospital, fire officials said.

Bacas, a rowing coach at Yorktown High School in Arlington, told authorities he felt a sharp pain on his hand Monday when he reached into his luggage. He then saw the nearly foot-long snake and slammed the suitcase shut.

Fire and rescue workers took the suitcase outside, opened it and blasted the snake, identified as a juvenile canebrake rattler, with a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. The chemical essentially froze the animal to death.

"The guy who responded had seen (the fire extinguisher technique) done on TV," Arlington County Fire Chief Ben Barksdale said.

Bacas' son, Peter, said the luggage had been left open on a porch during the trip. Barksdale said he had no information that the snake was deliberately put into the luggage.

Bob Myers, director of the American International Rattlesnake Museum in New Mexico, said his first thought was that it was a prank, but it's conceivable that a snake would crawl into luggage seeking warmth or shelter.

The venom from a canebrake rattlesnake can be particularly harmful, but a young snake is not usually large enough to deliver enough to be lethal, Myers said. Adult canebrakes can grow to 6 feet.

"There's an old wives' tale that says a baby rattlesnake bite is worse than an adult bite, but that's just not true," Myers said.

Three or four people die each year from rattlesnake bites in the United States, out of perhaps 8,000 bites a year, Myers said.

Interesting that the CNN story calls it an Eastern Diamondback, while this story calls it a canebrake rattler.
12 posted on 03/25/2008 6:19:04 AM PDT by VRWCmember
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Something similar happened to me a few years ago, took some bags out of my car trunk and put them in the garage [unzipped]

Put them back in my car a few days later - ended up with a very large snake in my trunk [about 3 and a half feet] thank goodness I put the bags in the trunk and not in the back seat - yickes!


13 posted on 03/25/2008 6:19:58 AM PDT by libertarian27 (Land of the Fee, Home of the Shamed)
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To: ovrtaxt
They used a fire extinguisher? What a g@y way to kill a snake.

James Bond used an aerosol deodorant can and cigar (to convert the aerosol can to a blow torch) to kill a snake in "Live and Let Die". A fire extinguisher is a good alternative, especially for when you don't know exactly where the snake is likely to strike from as you open the container where it is hiding and pissed off.

14 posted on 03/25/2008 6:22:23 AM PDT by VRWCmember
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To: cornbreadmuffin

Beneficiary of insurance policy?


15 posted on 03/25/2008 6:50:10 AM PDT by lynny (Kandy)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Rattlesnake bites are rarely fatal to healthy young adults.

True, but they can cause lots of serious problems.

16 posted on 03/25/2008 8:03:29 AM PDT by Ditto (Global Warming: The 21st Century's Snake Oil)
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To: VRWCmember

A sawed off shotgun accomplishes the same thing in a much more macho fashion.

lol I used macho and fashion in the same sentence!


17 posted on 03/25/2008 9:14:17 AM PDT by ovrtaxt (Member of the irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.)
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To: ovrtaxt
"A sawed off shotgun accomplishes the same thing in a much more macho fashion."

I've dispatched a few in my yard with my Cold Steel Katana...

18 posted on 03/25/2008 9:19:21 AM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: cornbreadmuffin

Ditto.


19 posted on 03/25/2008 10:57:30 AM PDT by Revski
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To: ovrtaxt
A sawed off shotgun accomplishes the same thing in a much more macho fashion.

And it gives your clothes and your luggage that war-worn look. Not to mention I hope there's no aerosol shaving cream or deodorant or hair spray in the bag.

20 posted on 03/25/2008 10:58:09 AM PDT by VRWCmember
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To: Joe 6-pack
I've dispatched a few in my yard with my Cold Steel Katana...

I feel so uncivilized. I just use a garden hoe on rattlers and scorpions while my katana remains in pristine repose in my study.

21 posted on 03/25/2008 11:39:15 AM PDT by Digital Sniper (Hello, "Undocumented Immigrant." I'm an "Undocumented Border Patrol Agent.")
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To: Digital Sniper
I just use a garden hoe on rattlers and scorpions

You mean you pimp-slap rattlers with a hoe?

22 posted on 03/25/2008 11:59:30 AM PDT by VRWCmember
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To: Joe 6-pack
Snake Sushi?

'La bonne cuisine est la base du véritable bonheur.' - Auguste Escoffier
(Good food is the foundation of genuine happiness.)

LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)

23 posted on 03/25/2008 12:05:25 PM PDT by LonePalm (Commander and Chef)
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To: LonePalm

I pan-fry mine...seriously :-)


24 posted on 03/25/2008 12:07:08 PM PDT by Joe 6-pack (Que me amat, amet et canem meum)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

RIDE THE SNAKE.


25 posted on 03/25/2008 12:39:07 PM PDT by John Will
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Reminds me of what the Mason Family did in the 60s. They put a rattlesnake in the mailbox of one of the prosecutors. I have visually checked my mailbox ever since.


26 posted on 03/25/2008 3:34:14 PM PDT by irishtenor (Check out my blog at http://boompa53.blogspot.com/)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
Reminds me of THIS THREAD from 2002.
27 posted on 03/25/2008 3:46:36 PM PDT by RedWhiteBlue
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To: VRWCmember
You mean you pimp-slap rattlers with a hoe?

Just the visual alone gives me the giggles. :-)

28 posted on 03/25/2008 4:21:24 PM PDT by Digital Sniper (Hello, "Undocumented Immigrant." I'm an "Undocumented Border Patrol Agent.")
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To: RedWhiteBlue
I like this post from that thread:

does a baby rattler make rattle noise?

If it is designed well, it should. But not too loud so as not to frighten the baby.


29 posted on 03/25/2008 7:48:14 PM PDT by VRWCmember
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