August 11, 2009

Elderly Fla. woman sustains snake bite

An 87-year-old Florida woman thought she was picking up a stick; instead, it was a baby pygmy rattlesnake and it bit her, her granddaughter said.

Ester Orrino of Hunters Green killed the rattler. The granddaughter called for an ambulance and Orrino was treated at University Community Hospital in Tampa, hospital records showed.

The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Orrino was a farmer in Italy in her younger years and routinely killed snakes and other pests.

The pygmy, one of six kinds of poisonous snakes found in Florida, is the one that bites most frequently.

Typically fatalities do not occur from (pygmy) bites. Usually there's no permanent damage, Stetson University biology professor Terry Farrell said.