15-year-old recovering after rattlesnake bite in Walnut Creek

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- 15-year-old Cayden Zingg didn't see it coming. "It" being the baby rattlesnake that bit him in the ankle Saturday night. He was just walking into the front gate at a friend's house in Walnut Creek when he felt a jolt on his ankle.

"It felt like someone zapped me," said Zingg from his hospital bed. "And of course I was freaking out, at first I didn't see the snake. My friend's like 'it's a rattlesnake' and I'm like 'no way' and I turn around and I see it rattling and I'm like freaking out."

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Thankfully Zingg had friends with him and immediately called 911, but in the ambulance on the way to John Muir Medical Center, the high school freshman realized just how serious it all was.

"It started getting really bad and I started to feel it in my fingers and feeling in like my tongue and my nose and I've never felt that in my life before," said Zingg.

Not everyone bitten by a rattlesnake needs anti-venom medication, but the Emergency Director at John Muir Health Center told us people do need to take precautions right after a bite.

"You want to get off any kind of constrictive things, like rings, bands around the arms, those kinds of things because if you swell up it's much more difficult to get those off later," explained Dr. Russell Rodriguez, Emergency Director at John Muir Health Center.

At Walnut Creek's Lindsay Wildlife Experience, a rattlesnake is a patient, brought in after getting caught in garden netting at a construction site.

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Wildlife Rehabilitation Technician Taylor Bloch told us people shouldn't necessarily be afraid of rattlesnakes.

"We should definitely co-exist with them," said Bloch. "While they do have the possibility of causing us damage, if you're aware and don't harrass these snakes, there's a very, very, very small chance you'll be injured by these guys."

For Cayden Zingg, co-existing with rattlesnakes definitely means keeping your distance.

"Just keep a lookout, especially at night time when you can't see," said Zingg.
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