Rattlesnake bites Aurora woman, neighbors on edge due to increased sightings

Victim speaks of horrifying moments
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 14:30:03-04

AURORA, Colo. -- Residents in one Aurora neighborhood are on edge after a woman who was walking around the neighborhood was bitten a rattlesnake in broad daylight.

The Aurora mother was reportedly walking around her neighborhood in the area of East Doane and East Duke Drives while her children were riding bicycles when a rattlesnake bit her.

Neighbors are concerned these types of encounters will increase as temperatures heat up.

In one instance, a neighbor who spoke with Denver7’s Sally Mamdooh, said he recently caught one of the slithering animals outside his garage, which the homeowner killed.

The recent rattlesnake attack prompted the Aurora Fire Rescue to issue a warning for residents, advising them to watch out as they go about their everyday lives.

“Rattlesnakes live along the Front Range, and Aurora is not different,” said one official in a Facebook post.

Where to expect rattlesnakes in the Front Range

Jefferson County Visitor Services Manager Mary Ann Bonnell said rattlesnakes, which are the only snakes in Colorado that pose a risk to humans, are typically first spotted in Apex and Matthews/Winters Parks as well as North Table Mountain.

Experts list several tips for outdoor enthusiasts, who have the greatest chances of meeting a rattler in the wild:

1.) Be vigilant: Keep your eyes on the ground and your ears peeled for any warnings from a rattler’s signature sound.

2.) Don’t entirely rely on the signature rattle sound: Experts suggest rattlers are becoming more silent to escape death from humans who would remove them from their habitat.

3.) Trail signs are your friends. Trust those who have gone before you, they’ve reported rattlesnake dens and the signs denote where rattlesnakes are likely to frequent.

4.) Rattlesnakes are most active between 50 degrees and 80 degrees, so be extra vigilant during the daytime, especially before it gets too warm for the rattlesnakes to be out and about.

5.) Most bites come from those who accidentally sneak up on a rattlesnake or attempt to grab a rattler. Don’t ever approach the snake, just back away from its den.

6.) Stay on trails. They’re open and typically an easy means to stay safe, as rattlesnakes can be easily spotted and avoided.

7.) If bit, don’t hesitate: Get to a hospital immediately. Hospitals can treat rattlesnake bites, but be expeditious about getting to the hospital. Call for 911, or have a friend rush you to the nearest medical facility.

What should you do if you’re bitten by a rattlesnake? 

  • Immediately move away from the snake.
  • Remove any jewelry from the bitten area that might constrict as it swells.
  • Immobilize the limb if possible.
  • Stay calm and call 911.
  • If you are in an area without cell signal, slowly and calmly walk to where you can make a call.

One thing you should not do if you are bitten by a rattlesnake is try to suck the venom out of the bite. Experts say this could actually make the situation worse.

"If you have an open wound or say you accidentally cut yourself while you were flossing, then the venom could enter through your face," Bonnell said.

Expect to encounter a prairie rattlesnake during the morning or evening hours. They tend to hide during the mid-day hours. Rattlesnakes are typically found on the land, but they can sometimes climb in trees or bushes.