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.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 6:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 22:23:41 GMT
The National Weather Service says there is a slight risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.The threat for severe weather will continue into Monday.StormsMore >
The National Weather Service said there is a moderate risk for severe weather on Sunday, and isolated tornadoes and supercell storms are possible.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 4:52 PM EDT2013-05-17 20:52:00 GMT
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.She is recovering at Children's Mercy Hospital with a broken arm, ruptured ear drum and fractured pelvis. Her family isMore >
An 11-year-old girl is recovering after a distracted driver hit her and then fled.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 6:47 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:47:09 GMT
Imagine suffering a medical emergency in a foreign country, half a world away. It happened to a man from Overland Park, KS, in Japan. Now, his family is trying to come up with a way to get him home whereMore >
An Overland Park family is trying to raise enough money to get their son back to the U.S. from Japan after he suffered a massive stroke in the other country.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:20 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:20:10 GMT
The Rachael Ray show flew to New York a puppy that survived a month inside a locked car at Kansas City's tow lot.Ray and guest co-host Regis Philbin fawned over Kia, who was accompanied by Tori Fugate,More >
Television hosts Rachael Ray and Regis Philbin fawned this week over a puppy rescued earlier this month after living nearly a month inside a locked vehicle at Kansas City's municipal impound lot.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 3:19 PM EDT2013-05-18 19:19:04 GMT
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon. Jean Rundle is suffering from a heart condition and in quickly declining health. She neverMore >
A Kansas City woman behind a new youth literacy program celebrated a milestone Friday night and none too soon.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 7:11 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:11:46 GMT
Students from a suburban Kansas City school district will be nearly 600 pounds lighter when they return Friday from the spring semester at a weight-loss boarding school in South Carolina. That amountMore >
Students from the Independence School District were 600 pounds lighter when they returned Friday from the spring semester at a weight-loss boarding school in South Carolina.More >
Saturday, May 18 2013 12:47 AM EDT2013-05-18 04:47:49 GMT
For the first time, the University of Kansas awarded two Wounded Warrior Scholarships. The money, of $10,000/year for up to four years, goes to students who are injured veterans or caretakers of injuredMore >
A young marine from Kansas City, KS, was one of two recipients of the University of Kansas' new Wounded Warrior Scholarship.More >
Friday, May 17 2013 2:21 PM EDT2013-05-17 18:21:35 GMT
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.The woman, who is in her middle 20s, was taken into custody about 11 a.m. This wasMore >
A woman is in custody after she allegedly struck her father in the head with a pistol, Overland Park police said Friday.More >