A man who was bitten twice by a water snake on Friday in a river in Missouri died on the following day after refusing to seek treatment.
While wading through the water in James River, Missouri, at the Delaware Access southwest of Nixa, Gilbert De Leon, 37, was bitten on each of his legs, Christian County Coroner Brad Cole told The Springfield News-Leader.
De Leon was in the river with his girlfriend, Shellie Johns, who was unharmed. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Gilbert De Leon, 37, was bitten on each of his legs while in the water in James River — at the Delaware Access southwest of Nixa — with his girlfriend, Shellie Johns (pictured together on Johns’ Facebook page).
2. Officials suspect the snake that bit De Leon was a cottonmouth (pictured) and that it may have been mistaken for a harmless water snake.
I’m not sure what kind of snake bit him, but the only venomous water snake I’m aware of is a cottonmouth.
The coroner told The Springfield News-Leader that the man ignored his girlfriend’s advice to go to hospital. He said:
That evening he got lethargic but just wouldn’t go to a hospital.
They went to bed and she reported he was snoring more loudly than usual. The next morning when she woke up she found him dead.
3. The incident occurred in James River at the Delaware Access southwest of Nixa on Friday.
4. The coroner says De Leon was standing in the water on Friday when the snake attacked.
Judging by the bite marks on De Leon’s legs, Cole believes that the snake was small.
Police say that they did not uncover anything in the couple’s house to give them reason to suspect any other cause for the death than a snake bite.
There are five species of venomous snakes in Missouri, including cottonmouths, copperheads and three species of rattlesnakes.
5. Gilbert De Leon, 37, was bitten on each of his legs while in the water at James River in Missouri on Friday.
Locals at James River report that they often see snakes in the water. One resident, Kevin Williams, told KSPR:
My brother he had a copperhead wrap around his leg while he was wading in the water and it went away.
The cottonmouth snake, also called a water moccasin, is black and can easily be mistaken for a harmless water snake.
6. A 37-year-old southwest Missouri man is dead after being bitten on both legs by a venomous snake after he waded into the James River — a FOX4KC report.
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