Brown snake bite kills man trying to protect pet dog

| 12.01,18. 03:01 PM |

Brown snake bite kills man trying to protect pet dog

Photo: Deaths from brown snake bites in Australia are not common. (Wikimedia Commons: Peter Woodard)

A man has died less than an hour after being bitten by a brown snake while trying to protect his pet dog in north-west New South Wales.

The 24-year-old was bitten on the finger in the backyard of his Cole Road home in Tamworth on Wednesday night.

"He went to investigate his small dog barking and found the dog to have a small brown snake in his mouth," Sergeant Josh McKenzie said.

"He's then gone to try and separate the dog from the snake and was bitten on the finger."

A family member took the man to a hospital in Tamworth but he died within an hour.

"Some anti-venom and attempts to resuscitate were applied but unfortunately he died in hospital," Sergeant McKenzie said.

Brown snake bite deaths rare

Brown snakes are among the most deadly in the world, however fatal bites remain uncommon in Australia.

About 300 people are bitten by snakes in Australia each year, but between 2000 and 2016, only 35 died.

Sergeant McKenzie said snakes were "protected fauna" and could not be legally killed unless someone was in imminent danger.

Dan Rumsey, from the Australian Reptile Park in Sydney, said brown snakes were the world's second most venomous terrestrial snakes.

He said most snakes were scared of humans and would generally only bite if felt threatened.

"Venom travels through your lymphatic system," he said.

"You need to put pressure on the wound and the limb that has been bitten. Most people are bitten on the hands or ankles.

"As ridiculous as it sounds, you need to stay calm. That will slow down the circulation, getting to hospital as quick as you possibly can."


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