A second snake drama in the same week in Austria has end in tragedy after a 24-year-old man was fatally bitten by his pet viper.
Dominic S., 24, died in hospital after he was bitten by a nose-horned viper that he kept in his home in the city of Enns in Austria on 7th July.
Austrian reports said Dominic S. worked with snakes for years and also bred them in his fifth-floor apartment.
Local media said he was considered an experienced snake breeder and had even trained fellow firemen on how to handle reptiles in emergency situations.
However, according to ‘Kronen Zeitung’, he made a mistake a rookie mistake contrary to all expert recommendations and took the viper out of the terrarium to feed it on Wednesday.
In addition, horned vipers, also known as sand vipers (Vipera ammodytes), belong to a species of viper found in southern Europe, especially the Balkans, and also in certain parts of the Middle East.
According to various online sources, it is reputed to be the most dangerous of the European vipers due to its large size, long fangs (up to 0.5 in), and high venom toxicity.
Despite experts’ advice not to take horned vipers out of their familiar surroundings when feeding them, the 24-year-old man put the reptile in a plastic container and turned away for a moment which is when the snake bit his hand.
His girlfriend and a friend, who were in another room at the time, realised what happened and immediately alerted paramedics.
The two of them also managed to put the horned viper back in the terrarium without getting hurt, and the 24-year-old snake enthusiast was taken to hospital, but died of complications from the venom the next day.
Additionally, the police found two tiger pythons in the man’s apartment, one of which was a three-metre-long female (9,8 ft).
Investigations showed that despite having a keeper license for the two pythons, he had not obtained one for the horned viper.
Consequently, the snakes will be taken away from the apartment under police supervision in the coming days.
It was the second snake incident that took place in Austria this week. On 5th July, 65-year-old Walter Erhard from the city of Graz was bitten on his genitals by an albino python during a morning bathroom trip.
As a result, he was taken to the city’s University Hospital in but only suffered minor injuries and was later released.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: James King, Agency: Newsflash
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