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SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2007

Ozark teen catches snake that bit him

OZARK (AP) — A 16-year-old Ozark boy bitten by a water moccasin while fishing caught the snake and drove himself to the hospital.

Tyler Hohbach said he was fishing at a pond in Ozark when “all of a sudden I saw this white thing and felt something really sharp. I jerked my hand up and a fang of a snake had got stuck in my left pointer finger.”

Hohbach said he jerked the snake off his finger and put it in his cricket bait bucket.

He drove to the Dale Medical Center emergency room. On the way, he called 911.

“They told me to pull over but I was so close I just kept driving,” he said.

Hohbach got to the ER in about 15 minutes.

Hohbach said the snake bite “felt like somebody took a red hot sharp piece of metal and stuck it in my finger.”

His swollen finger turned black.

“Hot stuff felt like it was going through my veins and all the way up to my elbow. It’s just still a little swollen now,” he said.

Having the captured snake helped doctors identify it. But Alabama Poison Control Center nursing director Jaysa Stewart said people should not spend much time trying to catch a snake instead of seeking help.

“We’ve had people arrive at the door with the animals or the snake. It is wonderful if you can be able to identify the snake or have the snake — dead — with you but not if it’s going to delay you,” she said.

After a two-day hospital stay, the teen said he’s ready to go fishing again.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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