5-year-old recovering from rattlesnake bite he got while hiking in Billings park
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5-year-old recovering from rattlesnake bite he got while hiking in Billings park

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Dover Park snake sign

A sign at John Dover Park warns of rattlesnakes.

A 5-year-old Billings boy is recovering after being bitten by a rattlesnake during a Sunday evening hike with family in John Dover Memorial Park.

The natural park is in Billings' Heights near the Yellowstone River.

The boy, Ezra Law, was with his father and three brothers, along with his father’s sister and brother-in-law and their two teenagers.

Ezra Law

5-year-old Ezra Law recovers at Billings Clinic after being bitten by a rattlesnake at Dover Park.

“One of the boys said, ‘Hey, there’s a snake,’ and it all happened kind of fast,” Ezra’s father, Paul Law, told The Billings Gazette Tuesday. “I just picked him up, told my sister to call 911, and started running.”

Paul Law figured it may have taken him five minutes to run with the boy back to their car. A Yellowstone County Sheriff’s car arrived within minutes, loaded Ezra, and met the ambulance on its way.

At Billings Clinic, Ezra was treated with anti-venom and seemed to recover quickly, his father said.

While running with Ezra, Paul said he lost his cellphone. At the hospital, he wanted to call the boy’s mother, but like many cellphone users he hadn’t committed all the important numbers to memory. He wasn't able to contact her until the next morning.

The couple has been divorced for several years and take turns with the kids.

Ezra’s mother, Julia Millikan Law, said the quick action by everyone involved may have saved the boy’s life.

“One fang got him, so he was lucky in a few ways. There was no need for surgery,” Millikan Law said.

bite mark

Puncture from one tooth of a rattlesnake can be seen on Ezra Law's leg at lower left. Other marks were made by doctors. 

Ezra was discharged from the hospital Monday evening, and a little disappointed.

“He liked having his own room, having snacks and getting to watch whatever he wanted on TV,” she said.

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