Nelson Drinkwater shows off his puffy hand, one day after he was bit by a timber rattlesnake.

An Ocean County man remained hospitalized in serious condition Saturday, two days after stopping to pick up a timber rattlesnake that was trying to cross the road - only to have the animal bite him.

Nelson Drinkwater, 24, of Little Egg Harbor Township, was driving through the Pine Barrens on Chatsworth Road on Thursday when he spotted the 4-foot-long serpent on the shoulder near West Stage Road.

Drinkwater, a snake enthusiast, decided to move the endangered rattlesnake away from the busy road to the safety of the woods. He pinned the reptile's head with a stick, but when he went to grab it behind its head, the snake bit him in the hand, Drinkwater told The Press of Atlantic City.

Drinkwater said he felt the effects of the venom immediately, experiencing excessive bleeding, swelling, nausea and severe pain. He was flown by medical helicopter to AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, Mainland Campus, in Galloway Township, where he remained Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Contact Michael Miller:



Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.

Load comments