NC man survives venomous snake bite with help from SC’s Riverbanks Zoo

NC man survives venomous snake bite with help from SC’s Riverbanks Zoo
The Green Mamba snake, shown in this Dec. 29, 2009, file image, is shy, but it is quick and highly venomous. The chances of surviving a Green Mamba bite without antivenin treatment are very low. (Source: AP/Fabian Bimmer)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A Raleigh man is recovering after he was bitten over the weekend by his venomous pet snake.

His pet was a venomous Green Mamba snake. The Green Mamba snake is shy, but it is quick and highly venomous. The chances of surviving a Green Mamba bite without antivenin treatment are very low.

The Raleigh man took himself straight to UNC Rex Hospital after being bitten. He needed antivenin treatment, but the closest spot was 250 miles away at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia.

The Riverbanks Zoo has three Green Mambas.

Zoo staff quickly packed a cooler with 10 vials of antivenin on ice and drove it to Lexington Medical Center. The antivenin was then flown to UNC Rex.

Sean Foley, Riverbanks Curator of Herpetology, says doctors used four vials to treat the patient, who is expected to be okay.

“The sooner you get it, the better, obviously, especially with a Green Mamba bite,” said Foley. “It’s a neurotoxic venom.”

Neurotoxic venom can affect your breathing quickly.

Raleigh Police say the snake is back with its owner, and their Animal Control Division is investigating the circumstances surrounding the bite.

North Carolina state law requires venomous snakes to be kept in a sturdy enclosure with a lock.

Foley says some people do keep Green Mambas as pets, but he advises against it.

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