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Child airlifted to hospital after being bitten by rattlesnake

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SAN DIEGO -- A 16-month-old boy was bitten repeatedly Friday afternoon by a rattlesnake in the yard of the family home, Cal-Fire said.

The child was airlifted for emergency treatment to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. The incident occurred in the family home in Deerhorn Valley near Lake Barrett, about 35 miles east of San Diego.

Several hours later, the boy's grandmother told KGTV-Channel 10 that doctors said the boy would recover.

County officials have warned that the unusually warm weather has brought a larger-than-average number of rattlesnakes out of their hibernation spots. San Diego County has five kinds of rattlesnakes.

The county Department of Animal Services has removed dozens of rattlesnakes in recent weeks after receiving calls from worried homeowners.

Mary Ramsey, supervising park ranger for the county Department of Parks and Recreation, this week warned county residents that if they see a rattlesnake they should back away calmly and leave the reptile alone.

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tony.perry@latimes.com

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