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March 09, 2005

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I always root for the snakes!

In 45 years of living in West Texas, on and off, I have never been bothered by a rattlesnake. In fact, as much time as I have spent out tromping around the boonies in Boy Scouts, hiking and the oil field I rarely ever encounter one.

Wallace, they are very stealthy, and I think they try to avoid humans in the wild.

A friend told a story about how she and two others took regular walks along a path on a ranch in West Texas. One evening she was the third person in a single file on the path, and she saw a rattlesnake lying on the path. The other two people had stepped over it without seeing it.

you're dates are wrong

I think your assumption sunodurring the details of this bite are probably correct. I never say never, but, it is highly unlikely that a rattlesnake would be at all active at those temperatures. Although we have seen snakes in dens survive very low temperatures, it is next to impossible for the snake to be able to physically function at 28 degrees.Check your laws for the State of Nebraska but I do know in Omaha it is illegal to keep venomous snakes. When this is the case, most people who illegally keep reptiles will concoct some asinine story like that to explain away a bite. For instance, just last month in Maryland a lady claimed to have been bitten by a cobra in a parking lot because she “thought it was a stick and bent down to pick it up.” Upon investigation it turns out she had a number of venomous snakes in her house.In another case in the East a few years back, a lady presented at the ER with a snakebite, claiming it was from a native rattlesnake. The ER administered Crofab Antivenom to no effect. She died quickly due to cranial hemorrhaging. It was later determined to have been a bite by a South American Urutu. Her local zoo stocked the appropriate antivenom so if she had identified the snake properly on presentation it is very likely she would be alive today.Terry

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