MIRAMAR (CBS4) – A 16 year old is recovering in the hospital after a dangerous encounter with a venomous snake.

Paramedics say the teen was walking near Everglades High School around 3:15 Friday afternoon when he was bit in the right hand by a water moccasin. The boy told paramedics that while he was walking a shirt he was carrying fell to the ground.

“He reached down to pick (the shirt) up and the snake struck,” said Lt. Lisa Wood, of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s Venom Response Unit. “He saw the snake but he thought he was far enough away.”

He wasn’t, Lt. Wood said. She says the teen immediately experienced significant pain and called 911 from this wooded area near the school. Rescue crews rushed the boy to Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood. Within two hours the Venom Response Unit hooked up an IV to give him antivenin.

“The longer a snake bite goes untreated, the worse it is,” Wood said. “If it’s not treated in time you can have major tissue damage. You can lose limbs.”

Wood says that shouldn’t be a problem for this young man although she said the snake left him with a lot of swelling in his hand and forearm.

Wood says Floridians need to realize that snakes are part of our habitat and if you don’t mess with them, they won’t mess with you.

“The snakes are out here year round,” she said. “Everyone needs to be aware of them and leave them alone. Just leave them alone. The snakes do not want to bite people or confront people in anyway.”

The Venom Response Unit says when it’s cold snakes are more likely to come outside for some sunshine.

The teen is expected to make a full recovery.

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