If The Daily Caller has said it once, we’ve said it 1,000 times: Don’t put your thumb anywhere near the mouth of a rattlesnake.
A teacher at a middle school in the suburbs of Phoenix didn’t heed this sage advice, though. Consequently, the snake bit her.
The incident occurred at around 7:20 on Monday morning at Fountain Hills Middle School in Fountain Hills, Ariz., reports local CBS affiliate KPHO.
The scene was the school cafeteria.
The unidentified teacher attempted to shoo the baby rattlesnake out of the cafeteria, but her hand got too close. The rattler responded by biting her on the thumb.
When a paramedics unit arrived, they found the teacher composed. The school nurse was treating the injury.
“It was obviously her intention to think about the children, to protect the children, keep them out of harm’s way,” firefighter Colin Williams told KPHO.
A small number of children were in the cafeteria with the teacher, according to a statement released by school officials.
“It’s important to stay calm,” Williams added, according to the Arizona Republic. “It keeps the venom from spreading faster.”
Paramedics transported the teacher to a hospital in nearby Scottsdale where she received anti-venom treatment. She was in good condition and is “expected to fully recover,” school officials said.
“We see rattlesnakes on our campus from time to time,” school district superintendent Patrick Sweeney told the Republic. “This is the first one that’s been inside.”
Sweeney said the incident will hopefully be a teachable moment for students at Fountain Hills Middle School. School officials want kids to avoid snakes and tell an adult if they see slithering creatures.
“We’ll get the people there who are equipped to handle” the situation, the superintendent told the newspaper.
As for the snake that bit the teacher on Monday, a janitor eventually trapped it in a bucket and let it go in the desert — not far from the school.
Baby rattlesnakes can “bite rapidly and repeatedly” when they are frightened, a Phoenix Herpetological Society told KPHO.
The CBS affiliate viewer reminded viewers to elevate the bite mark, wash the area around the bite and remain calm.
Do not try to suck out the venom, though. Also, don’t use ice or attempt to kill the snake.
Fountain Hills Middle School is located on a campus shared by Four Peaks Elementary School. It’s on a land trust in a decidedly desert-like setting.