Here in the Los Angeles area of Southern California it is the season for rattlesnake bites. On the news last night thru today, they have been reporting on a young man who was mountain bike riding in the foot hills and sustained a bite. He had dismounted his bike to move some brush off the trail when he felt what he at first thought was a bad scrape from the brush he was moving. As he moved the piece of brush from the trail he then saw the snake. It had struck him right at the outer-top of his right ankle. He was of course only wearing shorts and sock-less sneakers. The rattler has been identified as the Southern Pacific sub-species of the Western Diamondback of this area. He said the rattler had given him no warning at all. As to size the reported that it was the size of his forearm in girth.
He immediately used a shoelace to fashion a quick tourniquet around his lower leg (I have read that this is not a good idea). They quickly left the hills as quickly as possible and loaded him into a truck and rushed him to the nearest hospital, where immediate treatment was rendered, then he was transfered to a second hospital where better treatment could be provided. Twenty-seven units of anti-venom have been injected so far. His lower leg and ankle, which he displayed, are severely swollen. But most alarming is the back of his entire thigh is discolored in a nasty purple like a gigantic bruise. He said that by the time they had reached the hospital his chest was constricted, vision blurred and felt numb all over. His prognosis is looking good but he may have some sever muscle damage for some time to come.
The nurse who was interviewed at the hospital stated that they have the most cases of rattlesnake bites in the area. She said they have had twenty-seven cases this season already.
It has been my intention for sometime to return to my books and finish the series on rattlers covering the venom and habitat and a few other areas not covered to date. I guess it is time to get cracking and finish it off.
Fore I go, there was recently a bad fire on Catalina Island off the coast here and a lot of area was destroyed. Not much has been said about the state of wild life over there. There is a rattlesnake indigenous to the island, known as the Santa Catalina Island Rattlesnake. It is unique in that it usually has only one segment of the rattle as the others usually fall off as soon as they are formed. Thus it is often called the rattle-less rattlesnake. It is probably most closely related to the Red Diamond Rattler “Crotalus ruber”, occurring on the peninsula of Baja California.
Untill later, remember this the season for all snakes to be out. So if you are out comuting with nature use caution in these bad boys turf.
Luck to you all!