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When Washington resident Mica Craig headed to the Clarkston Walmart on Friday, he was only looking to pick up some mulch for his medical marijuana growing business. Unfortunately, he also ended up leaving with a rattlesnake bite.
The 47-year-old was out in the parking lot garden center when he came upon the Walmart rattlesnake, according to KIRO radio. He bent down to pick up a stick, but when that stick bit his hand, he realized it was a snake. He then started "screaming bloody murder."
Luckily, a nearby shopper acted fast and got Mica Craig to a local emergency room. It was there that doctors initially diagnosed it as a "dry bite" and sent him home with instructions to come back in case of swelling, according to Reuters. He returned 20 minutes later after his hand swelled up to the "size of a grapefruit."
ER doctor Jay Hunter said that Craig initially showed no signs that venom had been injected. But when Craig came back he was treated with six vials of anti-venom, The Spokesman-Review reports.
Walmart has issued an apology for the rattlesnake incident, and a spokesperson told Reuters that pest management is taking a closer look at the property. A Walmart claims adjuster has also been in contact with Craig. It's unclear whether there is a problem at the site or if the rattlesnake was shipped with the garden supplies.
It's also unclear at this point whether Walmart can be held responsible for Craig's injuries. Unless there is a rattlesnake problem in the area there doesn't seem to have been any reason for Walmart to have inspected the parking lot for snakes. It may have simply been a bizarre and unpreventable accident.
[5/16/2012 12:50 pm PST Editor's Note: This post was updated to clarify the chronology of Mr. Craig's treatment for the snake bite.]