By Alan Shope, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
BLUE MOUND, KS (KCTV) -
Due to the warmer weather and new home development the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks says snakes and especially venomous snakes are on the move in the Kansas City area.
One family is now dealing with a serious bite.
"I feel like I don't want my daughter to leave the house ‘til she's about 19 with a shotgun, but I can't do that logically of course," said Trace Wilkerson, a father from Blue Mound, KS.
Wilkerson expressed what most parents would probably think after seeing a rattlesnake bite his 5-year-old daughter.
"I went to the shop and I got a round-nose shovel and by that time I was determined what was going to happen," he said.
Wilkerson quickly killed the rattlesnake that had bitten his daughter Kaitlin in the park next to their home and Kaitlin was airlifted to Children's Mercy Hospital, where doctors said serious snake bites, especially from rattlesnakes, are on the rise.
Doctors say if someone does get bit, they shouldn't panic and should instead try to get medical attention within four hours.
"We don't want anybody to suck out the venom themselves, we don't want anybody to use an extraction kit, get them to the nearest emergency room," said Dr. Jennifer Lowry.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks said, for the most part, there's really only two venomous snakes that patrol the Kansas City metro area, on both sides of the state line. They said snakes live in high grass and rocky areas. The copperhead is more aggressive than the rattler, but both will strike if threatened.
"A lot of times these snakes kind of just lay and wait for their prey to come to them, and so if you're out in tall grass, you may step on one accidentally and may get struck," said Vince Wonderlich with the department.
Wilkerson said he'd never seen a rattlesnake like the one that bit his daughter.
"The first one I seen, I killed it, and that was Sunday," he said.
Kaitlin is expected to make a full recovery in about two months. There is a fund set up to help pay for some of her medical bills and expenses. Anybody who would like to help should contact:
Farmers State BankP.O. Box 158Blue Mound, KSC/O Kaitlin Wilkerson
There is also a gofundme.com page set up to help the family. Once on the funding page, search Kaitlin Wilkerson.
Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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