An elderly man in Australia has died after being bitten by a snake as he tried to uncoil it from his friend’s leg, the Guardian reported. The tragic incident happened on Saturday when the two men were attending the Koumala State School 100-year celebrations in central Queensland.
When the 69-year-old spotted a snake curled around his friend’s ankle, he tried to remove it but was bitten by the reptile multiple times. After being bitten several times on the chest and arm, he went into cardiac arrest. Despite several attempts by paramedics and other attendees to revive him, he died at the scene.
”There was a rapid call for an ambulance and bystanders performed CPR immediately as the man collapsed. Despite heroic measures by both the bystanders and the Queensland Ambulance Service, he was unfortunately unable to be revived and has passed away,” Claire Bertenshaw, the Queensland Ambulance Service’s acting deputy commissioner said at a press conference on Sunday.
Thankfully, the second man, also in his 60s, was transported to Mackay Base Hospital and is in a stable condition.
”The other fellow is well – he was taken to the hospital last night. I can’t say with any certainty whether he was bitten or not. My thoughts are with the family and friends of the patient who tragically lost their life last night”, Ms Bertenshaw added.
After the incident, tributes flooded social media with many calling him a ”good friend and neighbour” and a ”hero” for his brave actions.
While it is not known what type of snake was involved in the incident, Dr Bertenshaw said the man’s symptoms pointed to a highly venomous eastern brown snake.
According to Newsweek, their venom contains a powerful neurotoxin, which progressively paralyzes the victim’s nerves in their heart, lungs, and diaphragm, eventually causing suffocation.
Snake bites in Australia are relatively common with about 3000 occurring annually but fatal bites are rare. As per News.com.au, Queensland is home to about 78 species of venomous snakes, although only 12 are considered “potentially dangerous” by the Queensland Government.
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