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Old 08-30-2007, 09:28 PM
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David Weathers in the news again.....

Handler bitten by 3 1/2 foot rattlesnake
Last updated on: 8/29/2007 12:05:03 AM by NBC2 News


CHARLOTTE COUNTY: A 30-year-old man has been bitten by a three and a half foot venomous rattlesnake.

It happened Tuesday night around 8:30 at 41180 Little Farm Road, which is near State Road 31 in Charlotte County.

Family members identified the victim as David Weathers. He is apparently a well known snake handler in the reptile world and has more than 140 snakes on his property.

Authorities say Weathers was bitten twice by an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, which is poisonous and can be very aggressive.

"They don't like to be cornered they don't like to be handled. If they get a chance they will turn and attack if in that position," said Battalion Chief Harper, who works for the Charlotte County Fire Department.

The victim's father, Kevin Weathers, says David was cleaning out cages when he picked up the Eastern Diamondback. When he attempted to put the snake in another cage it struck at him and its fangs landed twice between his thumb and index finger.

Kevin says David almost immediately lost feeling in his legs and was short of breath.

A medical helicopter quickly transported Weathers to Lee Memorial Hospital where they have anti-venin in stock.

Moments after he was given the anti-venin, Kevin spoke to us at the hospital about his son's condition.

"He is going to be fine. His blood pressure is fine, they gave him a sedative, and everything is ok. His hand is a little swollen. I have a big belief in God; we've gone through this before. You just have to be calm. I know he's not going to die," said Kevin Weathers.

Kevin says he and his son have both been bitten by venomous snakes in the past.

In fact back in 2003, we reported on Weathers after he was bitten in the stomach by a cobra.

His fight for survival made national headlines.

Later that year he also appeared on the MTV show "WildBoyz."

Weathers has also survived bites from an alligator and a lion.

Back then he told us why he worked with such dangerous animals.

"I like snakes it's something I've always been fascinated with," Weathers said in a 2003 interview.

Firefighters say that Weathers was taken to Lee Memorial because it has anti-venin, not all hospitals do.

Please check back to this site for updates on Weathers condition.

2007 by NBC2 NEWS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Video on the origional site
NBC2 News Online - Handler bitten by 3 1/2 foot rattlesnake
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File Type: jpg 14331-MUG_diamondback_070828.jpg (22.9 KB, 38 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-30-2007, 09:31 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Snake bite victim talks about his dangerous lifestyle

Last updated on: 8/29/2007 6:33:53 PM by Meaghan Smith

CHARLOTTE COUNTY: The man who was bitten by a venomous snake talked about the attack Wednesday from his hospital bed.

David Weathers is a snake handler and while cleaning out a cage Tuesday night, he was bitten by an Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake.

"At the same time I was letting go. I felt her teeth just hit me," said Weathers.

He owns about 150 snakes and this isn't the first time one of them has turned on him.

But he quickly knew this latest bite was serious.

Within 15 minutes he was losing feeling in his legs. Emergency crews airlifted him to Lee Memorial Hospital where he received anti-venin.

"I don't expect it to happen, but I accept it when it happens," said Weathers.

The 30-year-old says he likes living dangerously.

"It's what I do. I'm a snake guy. I'm a venomous snake handler," said Weathers.

About four years ago, he was attacked by a cobra.

Weathers says despite this latest encounter with a venomous snake, he will be back at work very soon.

"As soon as I can walk again, I've still got about a half dozen more to clean," he said.

And his run-ins with snakes and other wildlife have gotten the attention of the national media. Weathers has been on MTV, Animal Planet and even the National Geographic Channel.

© 2007 by NBC2 NEWS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



NBC2 News Online - Snake bite victim talks about his dangerous lifestyle
Video of Weathers on this one
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  #3  
Old 08-30-2007, 09:33 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Maybe he could trade one of the snakes for a good snake hook.
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:57 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Quote:
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Maybe he could trade one of the snakes for a good snake hook.
Makes ya wonder doesn't it?
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:07 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

The Evil Knievel of the snake world.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:39 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Or the dunce of the snake world...
This guy has been to my house wanting some video editing done by my husband. I don't think he called back because I told him what an idiot he was while he was here.

Eh, oh well....
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Old 08-31-2007, 07:22 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptscue View Post
About four years ago, he was attacked by a cobra.
Statements like this really irrate me. "Attacked" by a cobra? I thought the cobra was just being..... a cobra.. and using what nature gave it - fangs and venom!! That phrase made it sound like the snake was hunting him down or something.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:24 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

He better be careful...Cant they take the snakes away? Not saying that I want them to but it has happened before where people get bit to many times and they take there venomous away?


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Old 08-31-2007, 11:30 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

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Originally Posted by BonafideHerps View Post
He better be careful...Cant they take the snakes away? Not saying that I want them to but it has happened before where people get bit to many times and they take there venomous away?
Rich

If FWC investigators deem that irresponsible actions are occuring at each mishaps, then yes, they can revoke a venomous reptile permit.
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  #10  
Old 08-31-2007, 10:08 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

I'd like to see what folks said about Bill Haast nowadays if he wasn't already established (well, some people still talk badly about him). Force-feeds all his snakes, has been bitten a couple hundred times, uses "questionable methods", etc.

I know that we're fighting for our lives, but it isn't fair to ask anyone to change their methods if they aren't endangering anyone but themselves. Religious serpent handlers die more often than any other group (that interacts regularly with snakes) in the USA. i think 3 of the 8 deaths last year were due to a snake bite received during worship and all 3 deaths were attributed to timber rattlers.

The facts have never really been under attack, it's all about the misconceptions people have.

Sadly, the ones in power don't care about the facts, therefore I don't believe a perfect record (among hobbyists) would matter. They'd just switch to what COULD happen if they couldn't point to what DID happen.
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Last edited by piscivorus; 08-31-2007 at 10:10 PM.
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Old 09-02-2007, 11:02 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekkieforlife View Post
Statements like this really irrate me. "Attacked" by a cobra? I thought the cobra was just being..... a cobra.. and using what nature gave it - fangs and venom!! That phrase made it sound like the snake was hunting him down or something.
Maybe it should have been...I understand the risks of the job, but stupidity is no excuse.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:07 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

I've seen video of this guy. he freehands his hots and is proud of it.
he doesn't keep his own serum either.

not only does he endanger himself regularly, but he brags about it and puts a very irresponsible/macho message out to anyone who will listen.

grrrr. very upsetting.
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Old 09-02-2007, 03:16 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmommy View Post
I've seen video of this guy. he freehands his hots and is proud of it.
he doesn't keep his own serum either.
not only does he endanger himself regularly, but he brags about it and puts a very irresponsible/macho message out to anyone who will listen.
grrrr. very upsetting.
I'd venture to say that only 1% keep their own serum/antivenin. Have you seen the prices of the stuff? To keep enough for a good first dose if bitten by an eastern diamondback would cost $10,000 and after 2 or 3 years, that $10,000 worth of antivenin (around 10 vials) would break down and be as useful as 3-5 vials ($3000-$5000). The stuff doesn't keep very long and after a decade can be almost useless. 10 vials may not be enough to counter a big EDB bite either. The person may need 30 or even 50.

The fact of the matter is that MOST don't keep it because MOST can't afford it and those who keep a vial or two around are really no better off than the rest of the folks.

Then, you have the problem of most hospitals refusing to use it (especially if you bring it in with you when you're bitten, usually won't let you arrange things to use your own supply at all unless you purchase it through them, which could double or triple the price of the A/V). They can't assume the liability therefore you're back at square one.

It's just not logical to keep it for any species found in the USA. Some a/v for exotic species isn't so expensive ($100 or so a vial) but still not cheap. There are also legal problems just getting ahold of it. Paperwork, waiting period, etc.

Who did this guy endanger though? As reckless as he is, he endangers only himself. If children emulate him, then it would be no different than emulating anyone seen on TV doing this stuff. That's when a parent needs to be a parent and not a "provider only" (even if it cuts into their "me time").

This is a situation you can only hope people have enough common sense to NOT do as they see, although this country is not known for its common sense.
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Last edited by piscivorus; 09-02-2007 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:05 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

[link]http://www.perfusion.com/cgi-bin/absolutenm/templates/prparticledisplay.asp?articleid=1774&zoneid=5[/link]

I found this report too. After reading this article, I asked myself who on earth pays to be followed around by a film crew; encase something "cool" happens. Besides retarded celebrities...of course.

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Old 09-08-2007, 02:20 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

This is another case of people taking the "news" at face value (hint: the news always has "made up but interesting qualities" added to it for seasoning)

There is a thread by David Weathers on kingsnake.com in the Venomous forum.

I have thought about this incident all day and I've asked myself all the obvious questions (Is playing on people's fear of snakes good or bad for the hobby? Does the entertainment value of it all translate to more people LIKING these animals or will it just induce a phase of "I want a snake" then a few months later, that person doesn't care about the snake in the least? Is this guy HURTING the hobby?)

I've come to the conclusion that he falls somewhere in the middle and just because he does risky things for a living it doesn't mean that an accident at his home is linked to those on-stage risks.

The guy isn't a bad guy or someone I'd personally wanna hang around with. I don't think he's helping the hobby or hurting it when all is said and done and that's his choice/right to use it however he sees fit whether we disagree or not.
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Old 09-12-2007, 09:22 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

I think that choosing to free hand his hots and then having his mistakes get a media attention is damaging to the image of herp keepers everywhere.
He's a loose cannon with a high profile....not good.
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Old 09-13-2007, 02:12 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

It just isn't practical to stock your own A/V.
Unless all of his snakes are using the same A/V, I don't see him carrying his own stock. A/V for Crotalus ssp is obtainable by local hospitals, usually. As long as you have good protocols, good network of help, and a plan in mind, you should be ok. Usually people with large exotic collections, find it useful to stock their own A/V, as it's harder to access.

Although I have to say since this guy free handles, it probably wouldn't be a BAD idea for him to stock his own A/V, I know Ray Hunter and Bill Haast both stock A/V. (most of it in their own bodies, but that's beside the point..lol)

Bad story for the hobby, as the readers of the story will most likely assume the 150 snakes are free roaming, and stalking whatever moves, and he could die while handling one, and it could escape and stalk their kids or something..

I feel like every recorded venomous bite is just one step closer to total bans.
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Old 09-13-2007, 03:43 AM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmommy View Post
I think that choosing to free hand his hots and then having his mistakes get a media attention is damaging to the image of herp keepers everywhere.
He's a loose cannon with a high profile....not good.
well he's available on kingnsnake.com in the venomous forum. he started a thread to address this very thing. go ahead and email him and tell him how you feel or heck, call him. Kingsnake.com - Herpforum - Im doing ok thanks for asking...David W

i have a feeling you know nothing about him and just like to point fingers.

how have you helped the hobby lately? right now, the hobby is a disorganized mess. THAT is the real problem.

what's your next agenda, stopping race car drivers who wreck? that would go over well on a sunday in the southeast at one of the nascar venues.

maybe we should try to back one another. accidents happen but with 20 years experience and 2 bites, it could be worse. people who don't keep hots really have no clue and half the people who keep hots don't.

Last edited by richardduckworth; 09-13-2007 at 03:44 AM.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:12 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

I saw him on tv ... that was quite enough for me.
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Old 09-13-2007, 11:30 PM
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Re: David Weathers in the news again.....

I am an ignorant soul. But that's just the problem...I am just like the majority of people see these news reports gleefully pumped by the media and have a strong negative reaction. Exposure like that can result in poorly considered laws born of fear. I like reptiles....most people fear them to the extreme.

I claim no expertise nor am I a crusader or savior. I am just a member of the ignorant masses who saw him on tv.
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