Texas man nearly dies after being bitten by severed snake head


Picture shows a tiger rattlesnake

Image caption

Rattlesnakes can continue to bite hours after dying

A Texan required 26 doses of anti-venom after he was bitten by the severed head of a rattlesnake he had killed.

Jennifer Sutcliffe told local station KIII-TV that her husband was working in the garden when he saw the four-foot (1.25m) rattlesnake and decapitated it.

When he picked up the snake’s remains to dispose of them, the head bit him.

A snake’s bite reflex can be triggered up to several hours after it has died. Ms Sutcliffe told KIII-TV her husband immediately began to have seizures.

He was airlifted from his home near Corpus Christi to hospital where he was treated with the anti-venom CroFab.

More than a week after the incident, the man is reportedly in stable condition, with some weakened kidney function.

Leslie Boyer, an anti-venom doctor at the University of Arizona VIPER Institute, warned against attempting to kill snakes, particularly by cutting them.

“It’s cruel to the animal and it leaves you with a smaller piece that’s venomous to pick up,” she told the Gizmodo news site.

Read more: Snake bites are now a global health priority, says WHO


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