Rattlesnake Handler Dies from Rattlesnake Bite


A rattlesnake handler died after he was bitten by a rattlesnake during Rattlesnake Roundup in Freer, Texas. The area is known for having an accessive amount of rattlesnakes.

Freer Police Chief, Hector Doria, confirmed that Eugene DeLeon Sr. was bitten in the shoulder in the early afternoon at the event. He was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Corpus Christi but died that night at around 9 pm, eight hours after he was first bit.

One of the organizers of Rattlesnake Roundup said that DeLeon was performing and handling rattlesnakes in front of a crowd at the time he was bitten. DeLeon was part of The Snake Busters, a group of snake handlers that catch and sell rattlesnakes.

With over 20 years of experience handling all types of snakes, DeLeon enjoyed the creatures many people fear. One of his family members wrote on Facebook that “he had a passion for snake handling” and that he was “doing what he loved doing.”

Rattlesnake Roundup is the city’s largest festival of the year, put on by the Freer Chamber of Commerce. Every year, the event features live music, plenty of food and a live snake pit.


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