RI man bitten by copperhead snake returns home

Photo: RI DEM

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local man is resting at home days after he was bitten by a poisonous snake in his backyard.

John Hunter was released from the hospital Monday afternoon — after he was bitten by a copperhead snake on Thursday.

Even though the Department of Environmental Management said the venom from a copperhead is rarely fatal to humans, Hunter told Eyewitness News the whole situation could have been much worse.

Hunter, of Riverside, said his wife was working in the yard when she noticed the almost two-foot-long snake nearby.

“It was under my grandson’s truck. She moved the truck and it coiled up. She covered it with this flower pot,” he said. “She felt bad and got a bigger container and covered [it] with that.”

That’s when Hunter’s wife called him to come home. He said he decided to take a look under the bucket.

“I got a stick to move it. I tried to pick it up — maybe I should have used leather gloves. Whatever. I picked it up and left too much room and it was able to wrap around and bite me,” he explained.

He said he knew instantly the bite was not good.

“My arm — you couldn’t touch it. It hurt so bad, the whole back of my hand. The first day it felt like it was on fire.

Hunter said the pain only got worse.

“The sweating increased at the hospital. My fingers felt like sausages. Just swollen — the whole hand and it continued to swell,” he said.

Hunter said that the doctors and nurses worked on him feverishly, trying to prevent the situation from having a tragic ending.

After spending five days at Rhode Island Hospital, Hunter has returned home. And he said he still isn’t afraid of snakes.

“I don’t have any greater fear of snakes. A little more respect, but no fear,” he said.

Hunter is just thankful his two-year-old son was not in the yard when the snake struck.

DEM officials took possession of the snake and at this time, it is still unclear how it wound up in Riverside.

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