- Angelo Owens was hanging out at his grandmother’s home when he came across the world’s deadliest snake
- Thinking it was a stuffed animal, he began to approach the animal but soon realized it was a slithering rattlesnake
- The reptile was then taken to a center to have its venom extracted to make antivenom
A Florida boy mistook one of the world’s deadliest snakes for a stuffed animal in a terrifying encounter while in his grandmother’s backyard.
Angelo Owens was playing outside at the Longwood property when he spotted ‘something’ in a corner.
The nine-year-old began to walk towards the corner to inspect it, only to quickly realized it was a slithering rattlesnake.
‘I thought it was a stuffed animal,’ said Angelo.
The young boy ran inside the house to tell an adult – a move which he is now being praised for.
When his family heard the snake hiss, they began to suspect it was more sinister than others they had seen before.
‘[It was] scary, it had me shaking for a while. Just a real loud hiss. You could hear it two to three houses away — it was loud,’ said Alex Owens, Angelo’s father.
After further research, they discovered it was a lethal 4ft diamondback rattlesnake.
Fortunately, no one was injured as it moved around the back garden – but the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation who they called on for help wasn’t able to assist.
The family then turned to one of Central Florida’s most experienced critter catchers, Bob Cross.
Cross told WESH2: ‘He’s a lucky boy. Had he not been wise enough to go get mom — boys being boys — if he had tried to pick it up or get near it, this would be a different story.’
The experienced catcher successfully picked up the snake and took it to a reptile center.
The reptile center will collect the serpent’s venom to make antivenom that can save lives.
Rattlesnakes are highly specialized, venomous reptiles and are one of the most iconic groups of North American snakes due to the characteristic ‘rattle’ found at the tip of the tail.
They range in size from the one-foot ridge-nosed rattlesnake to the five-to-eight-foot eastern diamondback.
A rattlesnake’s typical lifespan is 10 to 25 years and they use a hunting technique called ambush predation to look for food.