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Reptile ace 'stable' after snake bite

A world-renowned reptile expert and TV wildlife personality had to be airlifted to hospital after he was bitten on the leg by a deadly 10ft king cobra.

Mark O'Shea is said to be in a "stable" condition after he was flown on Sunday to Worcestershire Royal Hospital from West Midlands Safari Park in Bewdley, Worcestershire.

Although O'Shea – who is the presenter of Channel 4's O'Shea's Dangerous Reptiles – appeared to be suffering no serious effects from the bite at the scene, he was rushed to hospital by paramedics as the venom can be fatal if it enters the bloodstream.

Bob Lawrence, head of wildlife at the safari park, said the 56-year-old was treated according to their strict procedures in dealing with a snake bite.

"We have a very well-rehearsed protocol for anything involving venom and we have anti-venom on site," he said.

"It doesn't seem to have been a major problem and he [Mark] is stable. We don't know the precise details yet but there will be a full investigation. It is very, very rare these things happen. Working with animals like this always carries hazards."