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Cincinnati Zoo employee hospitalized after rattlesnake bite

rattlesnake curled and looking at the camera
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake in the world and largest venomous snake in North America.

An employee at the Cincinnati Zoo was hospitalized Thursday after being bitten by an eastern diamondback rattlesnake.

The zoo confirms the victim is a female employee in the Reptile House. The incident happened in a behind-the-scenes area and no guests were ever at risk, the zoo says in a statement.

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is the largest rattlesnake in the world and the largest venomous snake in North America.

The Cincinnati Fire Department reports a medical crew was called to the Reptile House Thursday afternoon. The snake was already contained when crews arrived, a spokesperson tells WVXU.

The victim was transported to UC Medical Center and was in stable condition when she arrived. A zoo official reports no anti-venom was needed and the employee's prognosis is good.

Fire department medics consulted with the department's medical director via radio and phone while they were on site, which the agency says isn't a normal or standard occurrence but was done to insure the patient was treated effectively.

The zoo states the incident occurred in the Reptile House, though the website lists the viper as residing in Manatee Springs. According to the zoo, the eastern diamondback rattlesnake can grow up to 8 feet long and weigh up to 20 pounds. They're found in the southeastern United States.

Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.