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Rattlesnake found on kitchen table, Livingston residents weigh in

By Katherine Mozzone, KTVM Reporter, kmozzone@ktvm.com
Published On: Sep 03 2013 06:34:57 PM MDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2013 06:47:57 PM MDT
LIVINGSTON, Mont. -

A Livingston woman got quite a shock when she found a rattlesnake sitting on a kitchen table. It happened at an apartment complex on the 1300-block of West Summit in Livingston, close to North 14th. The woman was checking on her neighbor's home when she came across the snake.

Anthony Murawski has always been into reptiles but he never expected a rattlesnake would be found inside an apartment in his complex.

"It's kind of amazing. It usually doesn't happen," says Murawski.

Murawski says he's not worried about himself.

"My concerns with people coming out here on the soccer field, I see with their dogs," explains Murawski.

Mark Breckenridge has lived in Livingston for close to 25 years. His place is right across from the apartment complex.

He says snakes take care of rodents in the area and he's more concerned about spiders in his neighborhood than he is rattlesnakes.

"Were you surprised to hear about the snake found on the kitchen table?" we asked.

"Not really...There's a lot of them. These fields are full of snakes," says Breckenridge.

We spoke to the Livingston employee who responded to the snake inside the apartment. Brad Haeff tells us while it's unusual to find a rattlesnake inside a home, he says they respond to a lot of cases in the area, between North 8th and North 14th, and along railroad tracks.

We asked Haeff how often they see rattlesnake cases. He says they've seen five to six cases this summer, a normal caseload.

"In general, we see a handful, five or six cases, a year in the state of Montana out of hundreds and thousands of people who are outdoors out and about. Of that, in the last decade, I believe we've only had one fatality due to a poisonous snake bite," explains FWP spokesperson Andrea Jones.

Jones also offered tips on how to avoid getting bitten by a snake. Watch where you walk, don't stick your hands into areas where snakes might live -- logs, brush or rocks -- and if you see a rattlesnake, walk around it and keep going. Don't try to kill or capture the snake. You can also wear leather boots or gators to cover your ankles or legs.

We also found out what to do if you're bitten by a snake. Here are some tips from FWP's website:

Stay calm and avoid physical exertion. Physical activity makes your body absorb the venom.

Remove any constricting clothing or jewelry.

Loosely put a sling or splint on the limb where you were bitten and keep it below heart level.

Walk at a slow pace to a vehicle or ambulance to keep your heart rate down.