Rattlesnake bites teen in Lenexa - KCTV5

Rattlesnake bites teen in Lenexa

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A Johnson County teen is out of the hospital after a rattlesnake bit him. The snakes could soon be a common sight for the area.

The attack took the teenager by surprise because it happened on a sidewalk away from brush and rocks where snakes are usually found.

The swelling on 15-year-old Roy Christenson's foot is just starting to go down, three days after a rattlesnake bit him just a block away from his house near Kansas Highway 10 and Woodland Avenue.

"I thought it was a thorn or something. I had no idea it was a snake. I just looked down and saw two little marks, and I was scared," Christenson said.

He was taken to a local hospital before being transferred to Children's Mercy, which fortunately had the antidote on hand. Doctors marked his leg with black lines to track the poison. After two days in the hospital, he was released Tuesday afternoon.

"I'm feeling fine now, besides the soreness. It hurts when I walk on it," he said.

Christenson and his family live in Falcon Ridge in west Lenexa, which is a natural habitat for timber rattlesnakes. A neighbor of the Christenson's emailed KCTV5 photos of a rattlesnake that was on their property, which they were forced to kill.

"With all the kids that you see running around here and the grass and rocks and stuff, I guess this kind of stuff is bound to happen," the teen's father, Mick Christenson, said.

Officer Dan Friesen, with the Lenexa Police Department, said with the heat, he think the snakes have expanded their search for their prey and looking for cool places.

The bitten teen says he will now take precautions whenever he leaves his house.

"When I go outside, I'm not wearing sandals. Shoes from now on," he said.

Timber snakes are a protected species so animal control cannot remove them unless they get permission from the state.

Lenexa police put a warning on their website on how people can protect themselves from snake attacks.

Some tips include:

  • Cut your grass.
  • Don't use your hands to remove rocks or boards.
  • If you see a rattlesnake, leave it alone.

The Great Plains Nature Center says the timber rattlesnake is the largest in Kansas and can grow up to 63.5" and on average live between 16 and 22 years. The snake generally stays in the eastern part of Kansas and all of Missouri.

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