• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

Interagency Response to Rattlesnake Bite

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Date: June 15, 2013
Contact: Julie Johndreau, 605-433-5242

Park rangers received a 911 call at approximately 6:35 pm on Friday, June 14, reporting that a fourteen year old girl had suffered a rattlesnake bite at the junction of Saddle Pass and Castle Trails.

Park rangers, Interior Volunteer Fire Department, and Rapid City Fire Department responded to the call. When rangers arrived on scene, they found that another park visitor, who was a qualified emergency medical technician (EMT) and first responder, had carried the girl down the Saddle Pass Trail toward the parking lot. The closest anti-venom treatment was available at Philip Hospital, so the patient was transported there by Kadoka Ambulance Service. Life flight was on stand-by, but not needed.

Visitors are reminded to be cautious of the venomous prairie rattlesnake when exploring Badlands National Park. Always wear sturdy boots and long pants. The best treatment for snake bites is to seek immediate medical attention.

The patient received anti-venom treatment at the hospital and is expected to be released soon.

Did You Know?

The rich hue of the Yellow Mounds paleosols

The yellow and red layers in the badlands formations are fossilized soils, called paleosols. Fossil root traces, burrows, and animal bones found within the soils provide scientists with evidence of environmental and climatic changes that occurred in the badlands over time.