Nanaimo man tries to milk a snake, ends up in ER

Nanaimo man tries to milk a snake, ends up in ER
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WATCH: A Nanaimo man has a wild story to tell after his attempt to milk a snake landed him in the emergency room. The snake he chose to try milking for the first time is one of the most poisonous on the planet, an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake belonging to a friend. Skye Ryan reports. 

William Fewster is recovering quietly at home after from a wild encounter with a rattlesnake that sent him to the ER Wednesday.

“Yeah. Two fangs stuck right in,” said the Nanaimo man.

Fewster thought that the directions on how to milk a snake, that can be found on Youtube, seemed straightforward enough.

“If this was the glass you’d have the elastic around it,” he said demonstrating with a can. “Saranwrap on top and then you get the snake to bite the plastic and then all of the venom would run into the bottom of the glass. Instead of your hand,” he added.

He was offered $50 by a friend on Gabriola Island to come over and milk his Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake. The Nanaimo man thought “why not.”

Fewster did say he thought it may be a bit dangerous.

“It did but being a boy…” he said laughing.

So he went ahead with it.

The Eastern Diamondback is considered the most poisonous rattlesnake in North America. With the quickest of movements, Fewster says its fangs were into him right after he tried to start milking the animal.

“I just happened to grab the snake the wrong way and he was able to latch in, on to my hand,” said Fewster.

“Once you see the teeth go into your hand realizing that they’re an inch long and they disappear yeah it pretty much scares the bejesus out of you,” said the 52-year-old.

Fewster came home to Nanaimo and laying on the couch he says his kitten was biting his arm, acting unnaturally.

“My little saviour,” he said as the kitten walked over to him.

That’s when he called for an ambulance. He says it was after the kitten’s concerned reaction, that he started to feel the snake’s venom attacking his body.

“Lips started tingling, fingers started going numb,” he said.

Alana Adamson, a pet store worker at Nanaimo’s Paws N Jaws, says even working with snakes like she does she’d never attempt a milking of a rattlesnake.

“Very surprised that someone would own a venomous snake in this location,” said Adamson. “And that somebody would actually attempt to milk it.”

Since his release from hospital, Fewster said he’ll never do it again.

“No. No and I won’t be going near any snakes for quite some time,” he said.

Skye RyanSkye Ryan

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