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Venomous African Viper Bites Wildlife Specialist in Rare Incident at San Diego Zoo

Representational photo.

Representational photo.

A wildlife care specialist at the San Diego Zoo, US, was admitted to the hospital after being bitten by a venomous snake.

A wildlife care specialist at the San Diego Zoo, US, was admitted to the hospital after being bitten by a venomous snake on Monday. According to a report in the New York Post, the incident occurred when this particular wildlife specialist was taking care of the African Bush Viper Snake in a non-public area.

The Zoo stated that the employee was immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation and all protocols were followed to give him good medical support possible. However, staff member currently remains in unknown condition.

“Although the San Diego Zoo cares for a number of venomous reptiles, incidents like this are very rare, and the snake was contained at all times with no risk of an escape,” the zoo added in a statement.

African Bush Viper, scientifically known as Atheris hispida, are one of the most venomous snakes across the world. They are native of central Africa and are usually found in countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo, southwest Uganda, Tanzaniaand Kenya. They are spotted in tropical regions such as the rainforests. African Bush Viper are part of the family Viperidae and are related to other venomous reptiles like rattlesnakes and viper found in tropical regions across Asia.
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The male African Bush Viper can grow up to nearly 2.5 feet in length and the species is easily recognized by its dorsal scales that give it a distinctive, dragon-like appearance.

The venom found in these African Bush Vipers is neurotoxic and a bite can result in serious haemorrhaging of internal organs. It can also cause serious kidney damage and disrupt blood clotting and flow. The bite symptoms can cause severe inflammation and tissue death.

There is currently no anti-venom available for a bite of this particular venomous snake and if the victim isn’t provided with quick first-aid, the bite can prove to be fatal for a human.

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first published:April 14, 2021, 19:36 IST