Swakopmund snake park owner survives black mamba bite

Thanks to the quick response by medics from E-Med Rescue 24, Dr Wolfgang Tietz; snake expert, Dr Christo Buys, and the nurses at The Cottage Hospital in Swakopmund, Stuart Hebbard, of the local snake park made a quick recovery after being bitten by a black mamba over the weekend, one of Namibia’s most venomous snakes.

The incident happened at the snake park on Saturday afternoon. “I was feeding the snakes and put a rat into the cage,” Hebbard explained to namib times yesterday. As is his usual routine, Hebbard made sure it was safe to open the cage when he put in the rat. The glass box, where this particular, three meter long mamba is housed, is located quite high. The snake probably smelled the rat and when it saw Hebbard, struck him on the upper forehead once.
“I consider myself extremely lucky,” Hebbard said. Usually venomous snakes, when they are used to humans, inject little or no poison when they strike. These “warning bites” are known as dry bites. “This time though the snake injected a poison. Within a minute my body started shivering,” Hebbard continues. He did not really feel any pain, just an indescribable, unbelievable and uncontrollable shivering.
The relevant medical emergency service providers were notified and thanks to the quick response time by medical professionals the anti-venom was injected within 25 minutes after the bite, said Hebbard.
“If it wasn’t for the right treatment I don’t know what would have happened,” he said. Once the anti-venom is injected, the treatment works quickly and effectively. Hebbard was allowed to go home after spending one night in hospital for observation.
The Swakopmund snake park houses between 50 and 60 different snakes. It is very popular with tourists and pupils where they learn a lot about these intriguing reptiles. Although this is the first incident of this nature at the park, Hebbard will in future take extra precautions when feeding the snakes.

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