Florida man possibly bitten by pygmy rattlesnake

- A Florida man is recovering after being bitten by what he says is a pygmy rattlesnake.

Two black dots remain visible on Bill Van Dyke’s ankle, marking where the snake’s fangs sunk in last month on his Titusville property.

“It was nasty,” he said. “The bite was real bad.”  

He said the bite happened when he lifted up his john boat, wearing sneakers instead of his thick boots. 

“When I went to move over, it felt like I was standing in ants and that’s when I see the snake crawling across the road, and, of course, I looked down at my ankle and seen the two holes where it bit me.”

Van Dyke was then airlifted to a hospital with anti-venom, Holmes Regional in Melbourne, where he stayed for about 10 days.

Experts say pygmy rattlesnake venom causes blood to thin and tissue damage. University of Florida researchers say the species is found throughout Florida and in a wide variety of habitats, from dry upload forests to marshes. It is the most commonly encountered venomous snake in urbanized areas.

He warns others who are heading outdoors to stay alert, and “always keep your eyes on the ground.”

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