9-Year-Old Boy’s Close Call with a Venomous Surprise

In a heart-stopping incident in Longwood, Florida, a 9-year-old boy encountered a deadly Eastern diamondback rattlesnake in his grandmother’s backyard. Initially mistaking it for a toy, Angelo Owens quickly realized the danger and alerted his family, who were stunned to discover it was a live venomous snake. Angelo’s father, Alex Owens, recounted the chilling hiss that resonated loudly through the neighborhood, underscoring the close call with danger.

Renowned local wildlife expert Bob Cross was called to the scene and managed to safely capture and remove the snake, which was then taken to a reptile center. Here, its venom will be harvested for antivenom, potentially saving future bite victims. This event adds to the Owens family’s array of wildlife encounters, which include coyotes and a bear. The Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, a species known for its potent venom and distinct markings, is native to various habitats across Florida and poses a significant threat to the unwary.

The family initially reached out to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation service, only to learn that the agency does not handle venomous snakes. They were, however, provided with contacts for experienced handlers like Cross. This episode serves as a stark reminder of the dangers lurking in Florida’s diverse ecosystem and the importance of educating the public on wildlife safety.

This snake, capable of growing up to 8 feet in length, is not only the largest venomous snake in the United States but also an adept swimmer and master of camouflage. With a bite that can cause severe tissue damage and kill red blood cells, the presence of these snakes is a serious concern. The story resonates with a recent event where an Amazon delivery driver was hospitalized after a rattlesnake bite, highlighting the risks these creatures pose even in urban settings.