California Man Bitten By Rattlesnake, Strikes Back With Golf Club

PHOTO: Kenny Ngo, 40, was bit by a rattlesnake in the kitchen of his San Diego condo. Ngo beat the snake with a golf club as his body went numb from the venom, April 9, 2012.
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A California man returned from the gym, kicked off his shoes and headed into his kitchen where a rattlesnake promptly stuck its fangs and a shot of poisonous venom into his foot.

Kenny Ngo, 40, said he reached for a golf club and killed the baby rattler with two swings.

He then called 9-1-1 as the venom began to do its work.

"The numbness ... I felt like my body was swelling up and I couldn't communicate," he told ABC affiliate KGTV in San Diego. "I was slurring on the phone, trying to get the address and they couldn't comprehend me."

The dispatcher was able to track his address and lead paramedics to his door. By the time Ngo was placed on a stretcher, his entire body was stiff, he said.

After being treated with anti-venom, Ngo was released Tuesday from the hospital, 24 hours after his standoff with the snake.

Ngo told the station he believed the snake slipped through a crack in the screen door of his first-floor condominium.

It was the third bite in the area in the past four months, firefighters said.

Bo Slyapich, 43, who is known in Southern California as the "Rattlesnake Wrangler," told ABC News the best thing to do when spotting a snake is to back away and call for help, whether it's a call to a "snake wrangler" or animal control.

"A snake will not come after you," he said. "They are not aggressive. They don't want to bite you but if you get too close, they will bite you and defend themselves."

If possible, Slyapich recommends finding a way to isolate the snake, such as closing a door to the room it is in and putting a towel down so it can't slither out from under the door.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that anyone bitten by a snack should first call 9-1-1, and then sit down to keep the venom from moving throughout the body. The bite should also be kept below the level of the heart.

The Rattlesnake Wrangler said calling for help right away is crucial because "time is tissue."

"[The venom] is turning you into soup," he said. "It's breaking you down making you easier to digest."

About 7,000 to 10,000 people in the United States are bit by venomous snakes every year, according to the National Ag Safety Database. Of that number, a reported 12 to 15 will die.

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