FOX8 on Instagram

Follow FOX8 on Instagram

18-year-old hospitalized after venomous snake bite

Posted on: 12:48 pm, February 25, 2014, by and , updated on: 08:51am, February 26, 2014

REIDSVILLE, N.C. — An 18-year-old has been hospitalized after being bitten by a pet rattlesnake inside a Reidsville home Monday night.

Kameron Burgess, 18, of Ruffin, was bitten inside the home on Auburn Street by a Canebrake Rattlesnake while he was visiting a friend.

Burgess’ friend, who lives at the residence, has a collection of venomous snakes, including an Eyelash Viper, Gaboon Viper, Rhino Viper, Brazilian Lance Head, Mojave Desert Side Winder, Puff Adder Viper, Southern Copperhead, Neotropical Rattlesnake, Monocled Cobra and a Costa Rican Jumping Viper.

The boys were returning the snake to its enclosure when it bit Burgess on the arm.

He was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital for treatment. As of Tuesday afternoon, he was listed in good condition.

Though native to some parts of North Carolina, it is illegal to keep a Canebrake Rattlesnake as a pet without a permit to do so. Also, keeping dangerous animals, such as venomous reptiles, is a violation of Rockingham County’s Animal Control Ordinance.

Kaleb Williamson, 18, of Reidsville, was cited for being in violation of the Rockingham County animal ordinance. The fine for the violation is $50.

“No venomous snake is a pet—period,” said Chad Griffin, with CCSB Reptile Rescue and Rehab Center.

Griffin says the rattlesnake, native to our foothills and mountains, is on the endanger species list because of growth and people who capture them for pets.

Capturing the animals keeps them from breading in the wild and helping control rodents populations.

“Because of wild capturing and habitat destination we are starting to see a lot of these species go into some decline,” Griffin said.

N.C. Wildlife will likely seize the Canebrake Rattlesnake and the other snakes in order to relocate them somewhere outside the county.


  • Wayne says:

    This reminds me of someone.

    How about you? Do you know anyone who has been bitten by a ‘pet’ rattlesnake?


    • Penelope Wilson says:

      Yes my fiance was bitten by his which also happened to b a cainebreak rattler he was flown to baptist also, say we no longer have the snake.

  • JT says:

    Who is this kid, some kind of freelance herpetologist? Many of these species are exotic and there is NO ANTI-VENOM available locally. Do you really think that the Randolph County Hospital stocks Gaboon Viper, Fer De Lance and Monocled Cobra anti-venom? Further, this is cruel to the animals; they are not in their native habitats and should not be in private ownership. Hopefully, they will be relocated to the NC Zoo.

    • password says:

      Exactly … and he was damn “lucky” that it was something that medical staff could treat (either had the anti-venom on hand or could be acquired quickly).

      My 10YO son loves herps, has a pet beardie, would like a pet snake and we volunteer with the NC Herp Society. Even his reaction was “WHAT? WHY? That’s CRAZY? Who keeps a pet rattlesnake?? That’s stupid!!”

      • JT says:

        That’s so cool, password! When I was your son’s age/a little older, I seriously considered going to college in Miami so I could study under Bill Haas at the Miami Serpentarium. I also had a Columbian Red-Tailed Boa at your son’s age (this was before you had to have a permit to own exotic reptiles). I know you are encouraging your son’s interests, but please continue to do so. It’s good to hear about a young man who is interested in something besides Grand Theft Auto V!

  • nono says:


  • Gabrielle says:

    What in the world is this boy thinking? One question….WHY????

  • jason says:

    Who are we to decide what he can keep it a pet if he wants. The only problem is He obviously isn’t responsible enough to let it bite a friend. The man is stupid enough to have snakes that there is no anti venom for locally Then let them have them. And we ones off dead It should be pretty easy termine y another stupid person is dead. Everybody worried about protecting stupid people. This is nature’s way of weeding them out. But some of them snakes Should only be handled and kept by train people Simply because most folks ain’t responsible enough to care for him properly And if they were to get loose they could really wreaks havoc. Another nice way to make it on the map Rockingham County Along with the coal ash spill

  • frank sinner says:

    Compared to the other snakes this guy was lucky to be bit by a rattler!! This will be a great story to tell his friends,just keep the article handy most people would not believe it !!

  • Patti williams says:

    I myself lived with a rattlesnake for 25 years until i left it.
    just waiting for my divorce.

  • Stupid people think they can take a poisonous snake and turn it into a pet.

  • All of you seriously keep your mouths shut. The only complaint that should be heard was he did not have a permit. And the term is venomous Fox(Teabagger)news.

  • Gina says:

    WHAT??? Who in their right mind would allow this. There is no way I would allow someone to keep snakes like that in a home. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. It’s one thing to have a pet snake but 10 poisonous snakes is beyond crazy. I hope the kid that was bitten is ok. This is too close to home. I wouldn’t step anywhere near that residence.

  • KiKi says:

    Fine of $50.00? THAT’S IT??

  • Donna says:

    THe fine should be more than $50 plus paying for his friend’s medical bills entirely!

  • news2me says:

    They are going to relocate the snakes outside the county???

    Any Hints would be greatly appreciated!!

    The Public needs to know where the snakes will be..

    Wherever they will be..I will not be..(Hopefully)

  • chucky1992 says:

    That’s my theory too. :)

    • Brent brown says:

      Go to his Instagram. This will be proven false very very soon, all of his followers are laughing at the falseness of this article. All y’all are about to look very stupid

      • Shut up Brent Brown says:

        Not as stupid as you, ranting on, and on, and on, and on about this. You know a guy who got bit by a snake. Yay!

      • Donnie says:

        While you are all ranting to each other about this, you are missing the point. According to his mom, he was in life threatening condition. I certainly doubt he is laughing, and would hope not. Think of the anguish and suffering his family and him have been through, not to mention huge medical bills to follow. I wish healing for him and relief for his family.

      • Das Dimplz says:

        The point is -
        a) This article isn’t worth the virtual paper it is written on.
        b) Poisonous snake? Really? Did he eat it?
        c) Both these idiots are obviously not responsible reptile keepers.
        d) Who cares?
        e) I think you forgot to ask Jesus, Jeebus or this God fellow to bless the family, and hand them tickets to ride the eternal unicorn over the rainbow-bridge.

        Did I miss anything?

      • Donnie says:

        Your message shows what you are missing!

      • Das Dimplz says:

        And what would that be, o great one?

  • Iama Retiree says:

    Who the “hello fuzzy” would want a poisonous snake as a pet ?

  • Dylan Cornwell says:

    sorry this just bugs me venomous ok venom is injected poison is ingested

  • Mark A. Rouse says:

    Reptiles as pets? Don’t think so, how do you take the wild nature out of them? How do you domesticate them? You can’t! Look at what is happening in Florida and probably around the world. The pythons, snake head fish etc., that should not even be in our country. Are here, living and breeding, expanding their territory, all because someone thinks that they could impress their friends by having dangerous animals. How are these things getting through customs etc.?
    “I’m so cool, I’ve got all these deadly creatures!”

    • Eli says:

      A feral dog/cat can be just as mean as a wild reptile. But a captive bred pet reptile can be just as nice as a pet dog/cat. you should interact with a pet reptile before you make such assumptions.

    • crowe0323 says:

      As the father of a passionate 10YO herp keeper (pet bearded dragon), I could not disagree more! ARE the most appreciative. My son loves turtles, but we do not keep wild animals. We volunteer with the NC Herp Society, which is a group of people who share a mutual passion and participate in research and education about reptiles and amphibians. Like many other members, my son’s passion is completely organic. Indeed, many animals have been domesticated by humans. It’s no different than keeping pet birds, fish or horses, etc. Contrary to not being able to appreciate them, those who are enthusiastic.

      . However, the person who abuses a dog and keeps him locked in a cage does not discriminate everyone who is a true dog lover. It is completely irresponsible for someone to keep dangerous animals without following state and local regulations. These kids are not serious herp enthusiasts, and most certainly were not handling the snake properly. The owner of these animals should be raked over the coals.

    • Ingol says:

      By your retarded logic, the president shouldn’t be here, either.

    • W.Randall Crews says:


  • Steve Smith says:

    To each there own … problems happen when u get to comfortable with them

  • Eli says:

    Alright, gonna clear some stuff up for you folks. 1. There is nothing wrong with keeping Venomous* snakes (there are no poisonous snakes) if done in a responsible and legal manner. Being properly trained, with the right equipment, and antivenin on stock. Now people saying that he should of had his own antivenin. If you own a venomous snake native to your region, you don’t have to have it. Antivenin for the snake he was bitten by is about $2000 a vial and you can need up to 80 of them. Nobody can afford to have that on stock. His other snakes are a different story. 2. People who say ” a good snake is a dead snake” there is no help for you, snakes probably contribute more to this world than you do. Rattlesnake venom is used to make heart medication and kill cancer cells. So they are important and deserve the same amount of respect that any other predator does. 3. Many people keep venomous snakes responsibly (myself included). We have the right to have them so long as they don’t pose a threat to others (if you keep them right, they dont) Dogs kill far more people every year than captive venomous snakes. 4. Reptiles make wonderful pets for responsible people. 90% of them as long as they are born in captivity (70% of them kept as pets in the U.S. are) they are quite docile and friendly. A feral dog is gonna be just as mean as a wild snake. But a captive bred snake is usually just as nice as a pet dog. If i missed anything let me know.

  • Eli says:

    You need help sir/ma’am.

  • michael says:

    are they gowing to release all of the snakes ? I have never Hurd of 3/4 of them

  • Amanda says:

    You should really research topics before posting an article about them, there are no poisonous snakes…

  • Yes, and Eli is a bleeping idiot as well. No consideration for others safety. Just look at what’s happened in South Florida;; the python snakes are running amok;;;and are breeding in the everglades and they’re eating and destroying the native animals;;;and they’re there because a few pet enthusiasts believed they had the right to have the pets they liked and shazam;;;one day they came home and found ‘old peter’ the Pet python that was only 14ft. long had escaped and you know what they’ve still not located ‘old pete’. and he now would be close to 18 or 20ft long depending on what he’s been eating. And you know, these snakes hunt at night;;and have no problem eating the residents’ pet birds, cats and dogs; as well as chickens and ducks or whatever else you might like to have as a pet.

    • Eli says:

      Do some research man, the reason the burmese pythons were released was because of a breeding facility that was destroyed during hurricane Andrew. It had nearly nothing to do with people who have them as pets. They are also not breeding as well as most people would be led to believe, last winter nearly wiped them out. They will be gone in less than 5 years. Also, cats do far more damage to local wildlife every year in florida than do pythons, they are a minor problem compared to other invasive species. Also that python’s length was later released at only 14ft. Most burms never get any bigger than 16ft. 18 or 20 is ludicrous. florida is an isolated incident, and no other states need to fear invasive reptiles. It is too cold everywhere else. That is why florida is the exception and has a permit program. .

    • Das Dimplz says:

      No, Eli pretty much nailed it. You, on the other hand, are obviously oblivious to facts. Or anything on the matter, as far as that goes.

  • Das Dimplz says:

    It’s “venomous”. Rattlesnakes are rather delicious, and absolutely not poisonous. Jesus!

  • Brent brown says:

    I know kameron, he got bit last September, and it was by a copperhead, not a timber. This is false info idiots! Go to his Instagram (kameronagusitrodonburgessi) and see for yourself.

  • Brent brown says:

    I am following kameron on Instagram, and he is laughing at this right now. So much false info, lol
    Also, he lives in eden North Carolina

  • Brent brown says:

    He lives in eden North Carolina

  • Molly Kay says:

    Snakes are venomous!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike says:

    Give someone a pet rattlesnake to play with and eventually their going to get bit…

  • MrsO says:

    I think it’s a shame that Time Warner Cable was the only one who actually got the REAL story. Even worse, that you have to be a member or know someone who is to find out that the young man who owns these snakes is extremely intelligent and plans to go to college to study toxicology. Both young men involved are passionate about these creatures and have nothing but love and respect for them. It was a terrible accident that only peaks their interests. God Bless and Good Luck boys!

  • robbybobbytommy says:

    Dude y’all don’t even know the kid, he’s actually a really cool guy

  • Engle says:

    If people are going to own the snakes they should have to milk them and keep a supply of antivenom. The boy could lose his arm but idiots on here want to argue.

  • Das Dimplz says:

    It only took two authors, and a whole week for these idiots to finally realize it’s actually “venomous”. Hooray for myfox8! Here’s your sign…

  • Jack Jensen says:

    Haha. Reporter says “poisonous” twice. If you’re going to tell a story, tell it right. There is no such thing as a “poisonous” snake. They are ALL venomous. Do your homework Mr. Reporter……

Comments are closed.