TAMPA — Doctors expect an 8-year-old boy bitten by a pygmy rattlesnake Friday afternoon to make a full recovery.
"He only had one fang wound to his hand, and he wasn't envenomated," said Will Darnall, a spokesman for University Community Hospital, where the boy was taken. Doctors plan to observe the boy for 12 hours before releasing him, Darnall said.
Jacob Hyatt tried to move a large rock to get his rope untangled from a tree branch, when the pygmy rattlesnake lunged and planted its fang in his right hand, Darnall said.
The Turner Elementary third-grader ran home to 20112 Indian Rosewood Drive to tell his mother he'd been bitten.
When Tampa Fire Rescue arrived just before 4 p.m., paramedics found the snake and killed it before rushing Jacob to UCH-Fletcher.
Jacob's mother, Theresa, still has the reptile.
She told the hospital that there have been poisonous snakes spotted all over their neighborhood, Hammocks at Grand Hampton in New Tampa, recently.
Darnall said the hospital has treated eight snakebite victims so far this year, compared to last year's total of 15.
"It's a good thing he wasn't envenomated," Darnall said. "The best-case scenario is not to be bitten at all, but this is the second-best-case scenario."