Snake store employee bitten by rattlesnake

Sept. 27, 2007 at 2:05 PM

DAVIE, Fla., Sept. 27 (UPI) -- A snake store employee in Davie, Fla., had to be taken to the hospital after being bitten by a poisonous western diamondback rattlesnake.

Tony Cruz, 37, was bitten on his left ring finger at Strictly Reptiles while he was cleaning the 2-1/2-foot-long snake's cage, said owner Mike Van Nostrand.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Special Operations Chief Al Cruz said the victim's hand was swollen by the time he reached Memorial Pembroke Hospital Wednesday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported.

Cruz said the man was treated with six vials of antivenin and would likely need up to 18 more vials to completely counteract the effects of the bite.

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