A Green Country man has died after being bit twice by a rattlesnake.
Game wardens are warning people to be careful when they head outdoors to enjoy the warmer weather.
An Oklahoma game warden says as many as 8,000 people get bitten by a snake each year in the U.S., but only a few die.
Relatives of 57-year-old Barry Lester say he caught snakes all the time, but they never expected him to be a victim.
“Although death by snake bite is rare, very rare, you can get bit easily,” said Tulsa County Game Warden Carlos Gomez.
That’s what happened to Lester.
Lester was driving in Osage County with his niece and nephew when he saw a rattlesnake crossing the road.
Gomez says Lester stopped his truck and tried to catch the snake. A mistake that cost him his life.
“He eventually did catch it and put it in the toolbox of his truck, but not before it bit him twice on the hand,” said Gomez.
You’re required to have a license before handling wildlife, even a snake. You should also be equipped with the proper gear, such as a snake hook.
But the best thing to do, Gomez says, is to avoid it.
“Pay attention to wherever you’re walking and don’t mess with them if you don’t have to,” stated Gomez.
Especially on hot days when snakes are out looking for shade or food.
The snake was removed from Lester’s toolbox and will be released back into the woods.