College student recovers after getting bitten by rattlesnake near Steamboat
July 18, 2018
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A Steamboat Springs resident is warning people to be vigilant after his 20-year-old daughter was bitten by a rattlesnake.
Deanna Lind, a University of Wyoming student interested in studying animal science, was in Steamboat visiting her parents Alan and Julie Lind when she went for a walk with her family's two dogs near their home on Saddle Mountain Drive.
"We've seen rattlesnakes in that area," said Alan, who has lived at the property between Steamboat and Milner for about a year and a half. "It wasn't a surprise that she saw one."
Beanna was wearing flip-flops, and the snake that bit her behind her left big toe was between 16 and 18 inches long. Beanna yelled for help and then called her parents on her cellphone.
Alan killed the snake, called 911 and started driving Beanna to Steamboat. They met the ambulance on the west side of Steamboat, and Beanna was given pain medication and fluids.
Fire Chief Mel Stewart said they called to make sure UC Health Yampa Valley Medical Center had anti-venom.
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"As it turns out, the hospital does have some anti-venom," Stewart said.
Dr. Gary Breen was Beanna's primary doctor.
"It was really about dealing with the swelling and the pain," Alan said.
Alan said they waited two to three hours before administering the first dose of anti-venom.
"They really monitor if you need anti-venom because it has side effects you may not want," Alan said.
Beanna spent three nights at the hospital and has now fully recovered.
"She's doing fine," said Alan, who works as the director of general services for the city of Steamboat. "It's a really hard lesson."
Alan wants others to be careful, especially as more rattlesnakes are spotted.
"The stuff on Emerald is even more concerning," Alan said.
"If nothing else, (have) good footwear and good awareness of your surroundings," Alan said. "That would be my final thoughts on it."
It has been rare for humans to get bitten by a rattlesnake in the Steamboat area. Dogs have been more vulnerable.
Rattlesnakes have been known to live in the area of Sleeping Giant and Mad Creek. They recently have been spotted on Emerald Mountain, which is a popular spot for hiking and mountain biking.
The city of Steamboat has put up signs on Emerald as well as Bear River Park warning people that rattlesnakes have been spotted in the area.
Howelsen Complex Supervisor Brad Setter said they have had one confirmed rattlesnake spotting, but he has heard of others.
"I can't really confirm whether it's been two or where they were," Setter said.
Setter said rattlesnakes are native to the area, and the city does not have plans to remove them. He added that it’s possible the rattlesnakes have been on Emerald in previous years, but they are just now being spotted.
"It's wildlife," Setter said. "That's where they belong — in the woods."