By Melissa Garcia
MONUMENT, Colo. (CBS4) – A teenager is recovering after being bitten by a rattlesnake outside her Monument home.
“I felt sort of a prick inside my ankle… I turn back, there’s a snake there,” said Kendal Vandenhoek, the latest victim of a potentially deadly bite. “I just scared him. He scared me.”
Intensive care unit doctors administered 10 viales of anti-venom to save her life.
Experts said the rattler bite was at least the third along the Front Range this season.
In another snake-heavy part of the state, snake trackers are capturing rattlers on Jefferson County’s North and South Table Mountains.
Adaptation Environmental Services has caught 11 rattlesnakes since this year’s project began in May. A veterinarian then surgically implants radio transmitters underneath their skin before releasing the creatures back into the urbanized wildland where they live.
The purpose of tracking their movement is to help keep people safe.
“We can look at exactly how they use their habitats at different times of the year… and we can inform the public, make them more knowledgeable so they can safely recreate out there,” said Joseph Ehrenberger, a biologist.
The transmitters stay in the snakes for 13 months, at which time the vet removes them from the vital species.
“(Rattlesnakes) do a great job with rodent control, and with two big diseases: Plague and Hantavirus,” said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, veterinarian with Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. “We can interact with wildlife, and I think we have to do it in a safe manner.”
Jeffco Open Space is reviewing a masterplan to put in an additional 3.3 miles of trails on South Table Mountain. Officials said the rattler tracking information could help them determine which areas to avoid.