Tags: gilbert de leon | snakebites | legs

Gilbert De Leon: Snakebites in Both Legs Slowly Kill Him

Image: Gilbert De Leon: Snakebites in Both Legs Slowly Kill Him
Generic photo of Northern water snake. (Tony Campbell/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 29 May 2015 06:02 AM

A 37-year-old Missouri man never woke up the day after he was bitten in both legs by a snake while he was wading with his girlfriend in the James River.

Gilbert De Leon refused to go to the hospital after he was bitten on Saturday by an unknown snake while he was in the water at the Delaware Access near Nixa, Christian County Coroner Brad Cole told the Springfield News-Leader. Cole said he is waiting on lab work to officially rule on the cause of death.

"His girlfriend reported that he yelled he'd been bitten by a snake and got out of the river to find he'd been bitten twice — once on each leg," said Cole. "I'm not sure what kind of snake bit him, but the only venomous water snake I'm aware of is a cottonmouth. It could have been something else, but we just don't know."

Cole said he found fang marks on De Leon's legs.

De Leon's girlfriend told Cole her boyfriend became "lethargic" later in the day but still declined to go to the hospital.

"They went to bed and she reported he was snoring more loudly than usual," said Cole. "The next morning when she woke up she found him dead."

According to WSPR-TV, the Missouri Department of Conservation's Warren Rose said facing animals in the wilderness could be tricky business for humans.

"Sometimes it can be difficult to identify snakes especially in the water," said Rose. "Most of the time people when they get bit it's because they're trying to do something with the snake, and you need to just need leave that snake alone."

Rose said many people confuse a harmless water snake with a cottonmouth snake. The cottonmouth, also known as a water moccasin, is the one suspected of possibly killing De Leon, according to WSPR-TV.

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A 37-year-old Missouri man never woke up the day after he was bitten in both legs by a snake while he was wading with his girlfriend in the James River.
gilbert de leon, snakebites, legs
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2015-02-29
Friday, 29 May 2015 06:02 AM
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