Lifestyle & Belief

Rattlesnake in Wal-Mart: Store apologizes to bitten customer (VIDEO)


A Wal-Mart store in Miami, Fla.


Joe Raedle

Wal-Mart has apologized to one of its customers, after he was bitten by a rattlesnake in one of its stores.

Mica Craig, 47, required hospital treatment for his injuries, according to Reuters, which says the bite caused his hand to swell up to the size of a melon.

Craig was shopping for gardening supplies at a Wal-Mart in Clarkston, Washington state, on Friday when he encountered the poisonous reptile.

Spotting what he thought was a stick on a bag of mulch, "I reached down to grab the stick to move it out of the way, and the snake stretched out, turned around and got its fangs in my right hand," he told Reuters.

"I slung it off and I did a tap dance on it until it was dead."

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It was then that the pain set in. "It's the most scared I've ever been in my life. When I shook it and heard the rattles, I knew it was a rattlesnake and then I freaked. I was screaming bloody murder through the parking lot," Craig told local radio station KIRO FM

A fellow customer rushed Craig to a nearby emergency room, where doctors had to cut open his hand to relieve the swelling.

Wal-Mart offered its apologies and said it was investigating.

"At this point, it appears to be an isolated incident," spokeswoman Kayla Whaling said. "We are working with a pest management team, which is conducting a sweep of the property to ensure there is no additional rattlesnake activity."

Craig, who was due to be released from hospital today, said he planned to see legal advice, according to KXLY Spokane.

The station notes that two men were arrested last year after claiming that a copperhead snake had bitten one of them in a Wal-Mart in Arkansas. They turned out to have made up the story in a bid to get a pay-out.

Watch KXLY's report: