Man Helping Turtle Cross Highway Bitten By Rattlesnake

10/09/2013 08:23 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014

They say no good deed goes unpunished, but this seems a little excessive!

A South Florida man was saving a turtle from death by traffic Tuesday when he was bitten by an Eastern Diamond Rattlesnake, one of the most dangerous venomous snakes in the U.S., WSVN reports.

The 24-year-old man, who has not been named, reportedly works as a snake handler. He was moving a box turtle from the roadway to a grassy area between Interstates 75 and 595 when he was bitten on his left hand.

Fortunately, the rattlesnake was a juvenile, and therefore didn't inject as much venom as an adult could have. NBC6 reports the man was able to drive himself to the hospital, where Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Venom Unit injected him with six vials of antivenon.

As of Tuesday night, the Associated Press reports, only the man's left arm was affected.

"Even at that small stage, they can put you in the hospital; however, they're so small, their venom glands aren't big enough to introduce a large quantity of venom," Fire Rescue Capt. Jeff Fobb told Local10. "[The snake] was probably sitting there on the side of the road, in a cooler area, trying to protect itself from the heat, and he stuck his hand into a bad place."

It was the second time this week the Venom Unit rushed to a rattlesnake bite. On Saturday the team saved the life of an Everglades National Park Ranger who was airlifted to hospital after being bitten by an adult Eastern Diamonback while trying to remove it from a closet.

Ranger Anthony Terry was given 28 vials of antivenon and is expected to recover.

According to Fire Rescue officials, 100 mgs of venom is lethal to humans within two hours -- and an adult Eastern Diamondback is capable of injecting up to 800 mgs of venom in a single bite. The venom causes tissue death and disables the body's ability to clot, leaving victims to bleed to death.

Suggest a correction