http://www.timesunion.com/news/nation-w ... 606017.php
Snake bites man — after decapitation
Published: Friday, November 11, 2016
A Tennessee firefighter received a rattlesnake bite after chopping off the reptile's head.
Kyle Watson of Columbia, Tenn., was hiking with his wife and two children Sunday when they saw a young timber rattlesnake.
Watson chopped off the snake's head using a kayak paddle, then tried to pick up the head using the paddle blade. He wanted to show it to his kids, he said.
After failing to lift it with the paddle, he picked up the head with his hands, and the decapitated head bit him.
"The head turned and struck me on the finger. It latched on, and I slung it off," Watson said. "It took about 10 seconds for the burning sensation to start shooting through my arm, and then within 60 seconds I was unconscious and fell, there on the trail, and hit the back of my head on a rock."
The family was miles away from a hospital, but local firefighters and EMS workers arrived quickly and took him to an emergency room.
Watson is receiving anti-venom serum and should be released by week's end.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, between 8,000 and 10,000 people report snakebites nationally every year. Around a dozen are fatal (Darla Guillen, AP/Albany Times Union, Nov. 11).