LONGWOOD, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida family had a frightening scare on Wednesday when a 9-year-old boy came face-to-face with one of the world’s most venomous snakes in his grandmother’s backyard.
Angelo Owens, 9, was in the backyard at his grandma’s home in Longwood when he saw something in the corner of the yard – that something turned out to be a four-foot diamondback rattlesnake.
“Yeah, it was in the corner,” Angelo told WESH. “I thought it was a stuffed animal.”
Luckily, Angelo realized it was a snake and quickly told his family, who thought it was just a classic garden variety. According to WESH, they thought it was completely harmless until they heard its hiss.
“Scary, it had me shaking for a while,” Alex Owens, Angelo’s father, told WESH about the encounter. He said the hiss could be heard from houses away.
“Just a real loud hiss. You could hear it two to three houses away — it was loud,” Alex said.
The Owens family told the news station they’ve encountered several of Florida’s wildlife creatures, including coyotes, foxes, and even bears, one of which got into their garage. However, seeing a rattlesnake was enough for the family and Angelo’s grandma.
“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,” Angelo said.
According to WESH, the family called the FWC for help, but the officers who arrived said they couldn’t handle venomous snakes and gave them a list of people who could.
Central Florida’s renowned critter catcher, Bob Cross, wrangled the rattlesnake and relocated it to a reptile center that will collect its venom to make antivenin that saves lives.