5-year-old girl bitten by snake in North Phoenix


by Stacey Delikat


Posted on March 22, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 9 at 7:08 PM

PHOENIX -- A 5-year-old girl is recovering after being bitten on the leg by a rattlesnake in North Phoenix.

Hope Sanders was on a walk with her grandmother and siblings on a trail in a desert wash near Interstate 17 and the Carefree Highway on Thursday morning when she was bitten.

Hope's father, Charles Sanders said the family was hiking on a trail near an area called Skunk Creek when the rattlesnake appeared and bit Hope on her left ankle, then made a rattling noise.

Hope's grandmother walked her over to an area fire station and from there she was transported to Phoenix Children's Hospital where she is in stable condition.

Sanders said Hope is in a lot of pain and had severe swelling to her leg.

He said doctors had to administer 26 units of anti-venom, more than the standard dosage.

Hope is expected to remain in the hospital through the weekend.

Experts say as temperatures rise rattlesnake bites increase.

"Once we start reaching those 80-degree temperatures, everything in the desert comes alive, particularly the rattlesnake," said Dan Marchand, curator at the Phoenix Herpetological Society.

Marchand said the organization, which now has the largest collection of venomous snakes in the country, has gotten multiple calls about snake sightings in recent weeks.

He said the best advice is to be vigilant and not try to move the snakes on your own.

"Do not try to attempt moving it or relocating it yourself," Marchand said. "We have every year people try this, they get too close, they underestimate the snake's ability, and they get bit."

He said people can call the Herpetological Society at 480-513-4377 if they see rattlesnakes on their property and the organization will send a professional out to relocate the snake.