On September 19th, an Amazon delivery driver who was attempting to deliver a package on a customer's front porch in Palm City in Florida's Martin County was bit by an eastern diamondback rattlesnake - causing her to be hospitalized in serious condition.
Floridians reading this story may wonder how common this type of snake is in the area and what they should do if they encounter or are bitten by one.
Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes in Florida: The Martin County Sheriff's Office told WPTV that eastern diamondback rattlesnakes are "very common" in the area.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the snakes can reach a maximum of eight feet long, although most are an average of three to six feet.
Staying Calm and Slowing Your Breathing Can Be Important Following A Snake Bite: In the 911 call after the bite, the dispatcher told the Amazon driver to slow her breathing. Wildlife specialist Kight told WESH that this directive may have made all of the difference, explaining:
“When the hand came out, and the package came down, the snake just thought it was protecting itself. And the poor Amazon driver just stood no chance...When you start to panic, when you start to raise your blood pressure, and the blood gets pumping more, that’s just going to process the venom through your body quicker."
Kight told WPTV that the best thing you can do is to leave any snake you come in contact with alone, saying:
"When you see them, the best thing to do is just leave them alone. Assume all snakes have the potential to be dangerous, especially if you're not good at identifying them."
Amazon has indicated that it is looking for ways to keep drivers safe, stating, in part:
"Our thoughts are with the driver and we hope for a full recovery after this frightening incident. Together, with the Delivery Service Partner, we're looking into the circumstances surrounding this incident and continue to make sure that drivers understand they should not complete a delivery if they feel unsafe."