Joe Wasilewski: South Florida biologist bitten by rattlesnake

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) -- A south Florida biologist is recovering after being bitten by a rattlesnake as he cleaned its cage.

Joe Wasilewski spent eight days in a Homestead hospital's intensive care unit after the Nov. 20 bite from a 4-foot-long Eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

Wasilewski tells The Miami Herald that he's been bitten by cobras, cottonmouths and other rattlesnakes, but this was the worst bite yet. He says it's been a tough recovery and he's "just starting to feel normal now."

Wasilewski's son Nick also is a trained snake handler and was with him when he was bitten. Nick Wasilewski called 911, and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Venom One unit took his father to the hospital.

The biologist says he'll be donating the snake that bit him to a venom research lab in Kissimmee.

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