Snakes normally only bite out of self defence,
most people that get bitten were either trying to catch or kill
the snake or were annoying it or happen to stumble on it.
Deaths by snake bite are rare in Australia, as with the right
first aid there is justabout always enought time to get to medical
help and the availability of anti venines save many lives.
By contrast in New Guinea, just north of Australia, Papuans have
the highest snake bite fatality rate in the world with an estimated
200-plus deaths a year, mainly by taipans. This was announced
by James Cook University researcher David Williams who said that
many villagers, especially children, are dying because they're
too poor to afford Australian manufactured antivenene.
Glenn "Shorty" Butler from Alice Springs
was one of the three unlucky people that die by snake bite a year.
In October 2006 he went to the dunny of his Alice Springs home and
a snake, probably a western brown, was in there and Shorty stepped
on his neck so the snake bit him. He was taken to hospiral where
he spent some time on life support before passing away.
One night police in the northern New South Wales town
of Byron Bay received a call that a man with a python wrapped around
his body was harrassing people in the town centre. They went to
investigate and got there just in time. They found the man unconscious
on the ground with the python wrapped around his chest, he must
have underestimated the physical power of his pet.
(Pythons have no poisonous bite but they kill their prey by constricting.)
Paul and Lawrence Mason, one unknown and Jim Manning holding a python
at Cape Tribulation.
Photo courtesy of Mason's
One night a couple of girls come running in to the
bar at PK's
Jungle Village and tell the security guard that there
is an old man with a knife running around outside. Security guard
goes to investigate and it turned out to be a builder who was doing
some renovations on the site. He always had a pet bird sitting on
his shoulder but a python had just grabbed and killed his beloved
pet so he was taking revenge by killing the snake!
Nightcliff, Darwin, Northern Territory
Three blokes were having a few drinks watching one
of the many spectacular sunsets in Darwin when one of them found
a snake. Being under the influence of alcohol and not real smart,
he picked it up to have a play with it. The snake didn't enjoy this
so it bit him. One of his mates said; you don't know how to handle
snakes and took the snake of him, propmpting the snake to bite the
second bloke too! By now the third bloke said both his mates were
idiots and didn't know how to handle snakes and took the snake off
them and guess what? Yep, he got bitten too! Not wanting to admit
their stupidity they let the snake go and continued drinking but
after a while they started passing out one after the other. By the
time they were finally taken to hospital the venom had gone that
far through their bodies that a huge amount of anti venine was needed,
more than there was in Darwin so it had to be flown in from Katherine
and Kakadu, making this a very expensive exercise indeed!
Near Melbourne, January 2004
Les Williams, 46, A Victorian snake handler, thought he had suffered
an asthma attack when he experienced breathing problems and called
for an ambulance.
But the ambulance officer discovered fang marks on one of his toes
while examining him and concluded he had been bitten by one of the
25 snakes the man keeps on his property and it probably was a king
because the fang marks were significantly wide apart and would have
have come from a large snake. It is not uncommon for people to fail
to immediately realise they have been bitten by a snake, particularly
in the wild as it can happen very quickly and the teeth of a snake
are very small and sharp
and don't cause much pain when they bite. The king brown is Australia's
largest venomous snake and grows up to 3m in length. It is not native
to Victoria and is more commonly found in tropical climates.
Somewhere in Australia
One of our readers sent us this pic of someone's pet
cat having an encounter with a python.
Sydney, October 2006
A 50 year old tourist at Wiseman's Ferry was not all that wise
but did get ferried (to hospital).
when he thought he saw a lizard in the dark he decided to pick it
up, unfortunately it was not a lizard but a death adder and it bit
him five times. To add to the mayhem he also had a heart attack
while waiting to be airlifted to hospital by helicopter, but was
revived by ambulance officers, and also had to be given multiple
doses of antivenom.