Snakes nearly kill man
By Ann Weaver
The Oklahoman
TECUMSEH - The wife of a man bitten by two poisonous snakes says he's changed his live-and-let-live attitude toward the reptiles. Gloria Cave said her husband, James Cave, 47, was bitten four times by two different types of snakes Sunday at their rural home, south of State Highways 9 and 102.
Cave is recovering in the critical care unit at St. Anthony Hospital.
"I can't believe he survived it," Gloria Cave said Thursday. "It's a story we can see some humor in now, but four days ago we thought we could lose him."
Gloria Cave said her husband wasn't well enough until Wednesday to recount the complete story of his encounter with the snakes.

She said he was "puttering around" near a garage about 100 feet from their home when a sharp pain ran through his foot. When he reached down to grab his foot, a pygmy rattlesnake sank one fang into his hand and the other into his foot, Gloria Cave said.

She said her husband stumbled backward and fell over a barrel, landing on a copperhead snake. That snake bit him on the right foot, then in the groin, she said.
She said her husband was wearing sandals and shorts.

James Cave managed to make his way to the house, Gloria Cave said. Within minutes, his mouth had swollen and he was vomiting, she said.
Their 21-year-old son, Andy Cave, and a neighbor loaded him into a car and took him to Shawnee Unity Health Center, about
20 minutes from their home.

He was treated with antivenin and rushed by helicopter to St. Anthony Hospital.
Neil Garrison, naturalist at Martin Park Nature Center in Oklahoma City, said it's unusual for someone to encounter two venomous snakes at one time.
He said the pygmy rattlesnakes, timber rattlers and copperheads exist in patchy parts of central Oklahoma's ecosystem but are not generally a threat to humans.
Garrison said snakes aren't looking for a fight and don't strike unless they're provoked, stepped on or humans simply get too close to them.
The best way to avoid being bitten is to use common sense, he said.
"Don't put your hands and feet where you can't see," Garrison said. "If you venture out in the yard at night, take a flashlight."

Unity Health Center spokewoman Linda Brown said the hospital has seen a rash of snake bites in recent weeks, and they've kept an ample supply of antivenin stocked to meet the demand.

She said if venom enters the bloodstream it can cause neurological problems, so patients with serious bites are sent to larger hospitals in Oklahoma City.
For the past few days, Aaron Cave, 25, has been burning brush and clearing out areas around his parents' home where snakes could be concealed.
A neighbor has been doing the same on his property, Gloria Cave said. She said her husband and the snakes have lived peacefully together on the property for 20 years, and before the snakebites, he had refused to kill snakes around their home.
Now, he feels the situtation has changed to kill-or-be-killed, she said.
Gloria Cave said she returned home Wednesday night for the first time since her husband was bitten.
"Let's just say it felt like a long walk from my van to the front door," Cave said. "We're going to be keeping the porch light on more now."
Snakes nearly kill man By Ann Weaver The Oklahoman TECUMSEH - The wife of a man bitten by two poisonous ... four times by two different types of snakes Sunday at their rural home, south of State Highways 9 and 102.

Escapees from one of the local church's? Oh, howlayluyah!