A man on a camping trip in Missouri with his family walked out of his cabin door and saw a snake. He picked it to show his 11-year-old son and the snake bit him three times, according to Mail Online July 12.
After dropping the snake, which was identified as a copperhead, the dad went inside to wash his hands and that is when he started shaking and went to lay down on the couch. He “passed out” and was rendered unconscious as the venom quickly moved through his system.
The boy could only watch in horror as his father quickly slipped away. This was a family vacation that Levin was planning to enjoy with his wife and children.
911 was called and by the time the first responders arrived Timothy Levins was unresponsive. The 52-year-old father of three was taken to a nearby hospital, but he was pronounced dead. Levins died about a half hour after the copperhead snake bit him.
The autopsy revealed that Levins died from an anaphylactic shock due to the three snake bites. This makes only the third fatality from a snake bite in Missouri history.
KY3 News reports that the snake was 18-20 inches long. They also report that after Levin became unresponsive, someone in a neighboring cabin began CPR on him, but it was to no avail.
The last two snake bite deaths in the state were in 2012 and 1965, reports the park ranger at Sam A Baker State Park, which is about 100 miles outside of Saint Louis. The park ranger said that it is rare that a snake will attack you, but when picking it up, it was defending itself.
Most of the time the snake wants to scare you away and if it bites it is just for that reason, it is rare that it would strike three times. Mild discomfort is what the majority of the people who were bit by a copperhead snake experience. Snakes bite “dry” about a quarter of the time.
A “dry bite” means that they don’t release any venom when they bite. They do this to scare their predator away and not to kill them, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Park officials say the best thing to do when you come across a snake, like this copperhead, is to scare it away with a loud noise or get away from it. The last thing you want to do is pick it up.