In a Walmart Garden Center, an outdoor area filled with plants, it’s not surprising that you might encounter some critters. Maybe a large bug, a moth, a frog, or even a grass snake. While shopping for mulch for his medical marijuana plants on Friday morning, a 47-year-old Washington state man reached down to pick up what he thought was a stick, and ended up rushed to the emergency room with a rattlesnake bite.
The story has been picked up by “wacky news” wires worldwide by now, but local paper the Lewiston Tribune had it first. Here’s what went down: the man says that while browsing the mulch aisle, he reached down to pick up something that looked like a stick. The snake bit him on the right hand, and a fellow customer–a stranger and arguably the hero of this story–drove him to the hospital after he stomped the snake to death, then fell to the ground in pain.
“I did a tap dance on that snake,” he told KIRO radio. “I killed it. I just stomped and stomped on it until that snake quit moving.”
The first medical facility they visited, an urgent care center, wasn’t equipped to treat snake bites and sent him on to the hospital. Since there wasn’t any swelling, the hospital sent him home. After his right hand swelled to the size of a grapefruit, he returned to the hospital for treatment with anti-venom. He fears permanent damage to his hand.
Walmart apologized and issued a statement:
“At this point, it appears to be an isolated incident. We are working with a pest management team, which is conducting a sweep of the property to ensure there is no additional rattlesnake activity.”
Rattlesnake bite victim could be released from hospital tonight [Lewiston Tribune]
Man bitten by rattlesnake at Wal-Mart says he’s never been more scared [KIRO] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)