Police: 10-year-old bitten while playing with snake

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BRADFORD, Tenn. — It was a scary afternoon Tuesday for a 10-year-old boy in Gibson County after police say he had a close encounter with a snake. As of Tuesday evening, Bradford police said the 10-year-old boy is doing just fine. They believe the snake was non-venomous. “The child said he picked the snake up at a creek bank where he was playing and brought it home,” Bradford Police Chief David Andrews said. “While he was playing with the snake, he got bitten.” Andrews said when he arrived on scene the boy had been bitten on the finger. “For a small child that has just been bitten by a snake he’s taken it very well,” Andrews said. But residents said they’re concerned about the creek where this child and many others have come to explore. “I said ‘stay out of that creek. You will get bit by snakes in there,'” resident Crystal Johnson said. “Sure enough, I can’t believe that little boy got bit in there.” Although handling a snake on your own may seem cool, the experts said that’s when you’re most at risk. “So the biggest thing to be watching out for is don’t try to handle them in the wild,” said Ben West, a snake expert with the University of Tennessee Extension Office. With all our hot and wet weather, more and more snakes are slithering out, but the experts said they’re more afraid of you than you are of them. “Only five or six people in the U.S. every year die from snake bites,” West said. “Which means you are many, many more times likely to die from a lightning strike than snake bite.” Experts say the most common venomous snakes here in Tennessee are rattle snakes, copperheads and cottonmouths. Their word of advice is if you find one in your backyard, leave it alone.

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