SCOTTSDALE, AZ (KPHO/KTVK) — A Scottsdale woman found one of the deadliest, most venomous snakes in her backyard Friday.
Dana Young said her dog started quickly going inside and outside.
“She came in and barked so I came out to see what it was,” said Young. “As soon as I turned the corner outside my sliding glass door I heard this ‘hiss hiss’ kind of rattily noise.”
After getting a flashlight, she found a Mojave rattlesnake coiled up behind a cactus in her backyard.
Dan Marchand, with the Phoenix Herpetological Society, said Mojave rattlesnakes are so dangerous because they carry two types of venom: one that attacks your blood stream, and one that attacks your neurological system.
“With hemotoxic you’re going to have a lot of tissue destruction, a lot of bleeding,” said Marchand. In “your neurosystem it actually blocks the signal from your brain to go to your vital organs. Things will start to shut down or turn off because it’s designed to coat the receptors in your body and not allow your brain’s signal to get there.”
During the summer, most snakes typically hide from the heat, Marchand said, but when the weather cools down, they’re out during the day.
Out of the hundreds of thousands of snakebites, only seven to 10 people die from them, according to Marchand.
He said to be more aware of your surroundings.
“Literally stop and if you hear something to your left take one step away to the opposite direction,” Marchand said. “A snake can only strike one-third of its overall body length. The average snake in Arizona, right now, is between three and three-and-a-half feet, which gives it a strike range, an affective strike range of between 12 to 16 inches.”
If a snake bites you seek medical attention right away. Marchand said the anti-venom can cost more than $250,000.
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