Two hikers have needed to be airlifted from Yosemite National Park in California after rattlesnake bites in separate incidents, park rangers say.
“This summer season, there has been a noticeable uptick in rattlesnake bites in the greater Yosemite region,” a release posted by rangers says.
A rattlesnake bit a backpacker at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 26 as he fished barefoot in the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, the release says.
The man and his wife tried hiking out, but she had to leave him behind with another backpacker they’d encountered while she went on to seek help, according to park rangers.
The woman hiked through the night, taking only a short nap after being overcome by fatigue, until she encountered a hiker with a satellite messaging device, who notified rangers.
Since the woman had pinned her husband’s GPS location to her phone before leaving him, she was able to direct a California Highway Patrol helicopter to his exact location to airlift him out to get medical care, rangers say.
The man spent a week in a Modesto hospital, where he received two doses of antivenin, according to the release.
In a second incident, a rattlesnake bit a hiker in ankle-high shrubs at 12:27 p.m. Aug. 29 on the Chilnualna Falls trail in Wawona, rangers reported.
The man was bitten in the left knee while climbing a steep trail, the release says.
His hiking companions applied a tourniquet to his leg but after another hiker contacted 911, they were told to remove it because restricting blood flow to a snakebite can cause tissue damage, rangers say.
A Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks helicopter located the hikers as a ground team of rescuers hiked to their location, then returned to airlift the injured hiker after being equipped to carry him to safety, rangers say.
The second hiker also was hospitalized for about a week and received several doses of antivenin, the release says.