Skip to comments.Man bitten by rattlesnake in luggage
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 ...
Who packed his bags?
Even the babies can put a bad hurt on you.
TSA: Can I rifle through your luggage?
TSA: Can I rifle through your luggage?
They used a fire extinguisher? What a g@y way to kill a snake.
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.
How that man got into the luggage, I’ll never know ...
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.
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.Interesting that the CNN story calls it an Eastern Diamondback, while this story calls it a canebrake rattler.
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.
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!
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.
Beneficiary of insurance policy?
True, but they can cause lots of serious problems.
A sawed off shotgun accomplishes the same thing in a much more macho fashion.
lol I used macho and fashion in the same sentence!
I've dispatched a few in my yard with my Cold Steel Katana...
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.