The season premiere of "Rattlesnake Republic" showed the real dangers of dealing with rattlers. Stuntman Jackie Bibby holds the world record for putting live rattlesnakes in his mouth, among other dangerous rattlesnake stunts. But all it takes is one bite to change everything, and it can most certainly happen to professionals. During a stunt in this premiere, a snake managed to get him, sinking its fangs into his hand.
His associates used an extractor to get as much of the venom out as they could and rushed him to the hospital. This was his 10th bite, and his doctor said he was very lucky. Rattlesnake venom can eat away at human tissue.
Unfortunately for Bibby, his 11th bite would prove far more disastrous. This one wasn't captured on film, but Bibby told the Abilene Reporter-News he suspects it may still be worked in somehow for the show's season finale. Certainly the aftermath will be evident.
It was another routine show, but this time he stepped too close to a rattlesnake, and it got him on the leg. With this bite, the extractors could do nothing for him, and he passed out. When he came to, he found out the doctors were talking about removing his leg.
Bibby was stunned, but came to accept that the damage from the venom was just too much. He'd nearly died, and the loss of a leg was nothing to the loss of his life. Ultimately, they had to take it off above the knee, but Bibby has vowed that even this setback won't keep him from working with the snakes.
"I'm not going to quit something that has done this much for me," he said.
The danger is very real every week on "Rattlesnake Republic," Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Animal Planet.
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