Snake encounter leaves Victoria man rethinking safety

PLACEDO- Warmer temperatures means snakes are slithering back from their winter beds returning into backyards where they’re likely to come in contact with people. For one area man he says his encounter with a rattlesnake recently made him re-think his safety outdoors.

“It was a big, scary son of a gun,” said Jess Garcia, recalling his encounter with a rattlesnake Saturday night.

Garcia was out in the yard working on a project at his mother’s Placedo home when the snake, about 4 feet long, slithered upon him.

“That is not how I wanted to meet a snake at all.”

Garcia, startled by the snake, grabbed a small gun and attempted to shoot the snake but failed after jamming the magazine. His father was able to quickly fix the gun and shoot back at it.

“It picked his head up and that’s all it took,” said Garcia. “My dad went ‘pssh’ (and) shot it.”

Garcia, who often visits his parent with his wife and children, was concerned about finding a snake unexpectedly in the yard.

“There was no way I was going to wait for an ambulance if I was going to get bit.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife says 7,000 people are bitten by snakes every year. At least 2 people in Texas die from snake bites annually.

“We’re too far out (in Placedo) so safety was the only thing that came to my mind.”

Emergency room doctors from Citizens Medical Center say if you do get bitten immediately to apply a pressure bandage, remain calm and minimize movement. Contrary to popular belief, they say not to suck the venom out either. When possible, contact 9-1-1 or drive to a major Victoria hospital.

“I was just imagining how potent it was, if that venom would of got me,” said Garcia. “You know, calling 9-1-1 or me hauling 100 mph to Citizens, I don’t know if i would of made it.”

And while they say they rarely get calls, Victoria Animal Control is also able to remove snakes from your yard if spotted.