Local teen bit by poisonous rattlesnake at Stony Creek

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - A Madison Heights teen is recovering at Royal Oak Beaumont Children's Hospital after she got bit by a rattlesnake at Stony Creek.

Caylee Kapa, 13, has spent most of the first week of school in the hospital because she tried to save a baby snake.

"Yeah, it bit me," said Caylee.

The snake that bit her was not just any snake, it was an Eastern Massasauga, Michigan's only poisonous rattlesnake.   She is used to picking up the common garter snake so she did not think anything of it when she picked up this snake.

"It hurt so bad, it just went in and out so fast," said Caylee.

Caylee and her friends were about to hike a trail at Stony Creek on Tuesday afternoon when her 10-year-old brother Anthony tried to stomp on the reptile.  She said she picked up the snake because she did not want to see the snake be killed, but then it bit her.

Doctors at Troy Beaumont almost let her go home because it did not appear any venom entered her system.  She was transferred to Royal Oak Beaumont Children's Hospital for a second look.  During her time there, it wasn't until 28 hours later, when her finger swelled up to the size of a sausage.  The venom had finally appeared in her bloodstream.  Doctors did not have enough anti-venom at the hospital for Caylee and even contacted the Detroit Zoo but they were closed.  Doctors finally found enough anit-venom in Flint.      

Now, the family wants to warn others that it is rattlesnake season, and not to do what Caylee did and pick up one of the snakes.

The Massasauga Rattlesnake is shy and typically avoids humans.  The state wildlife officials said bites almost always happen when a person tries to handle the creature.

If you see a Massasauga, keep yourself at a distance, and keep your pets away.  The rattlesnakes are rare in Michigan and are protected by the state.

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