Australian man dies trying to protect dog from venomous snake

Twenty-four-year-old died in hospital after trying to remove serpent from pet's mouth

An eastern brown snake, the second-most venomous type in the world
An eastern brown snake, the second-most venomous type in the world

An Australian man has died after being bitten by a snake while trying to protect his dog.

The 24-year-old, who has not been identified, was attacked as he tried to remove the snake from the mouth of his dog at his home in Tamworth, north-west of Sydney.

He was rushed to hospital where an antivenom was administered but died within an hour of his arrival, according to police.

“He went to investigate his small dog barking and found the dog to have a small brown snake in his mouth,” Sergeant Josh McKenzie told ABC News.

“He’s then gone to try and separate the dog from the snake and was bitten on the finger.”

Brown snakes are the world’s second most venomous terrestrial snakes and among Australia’s most deadly creatures. They are characteristically aggressive and are highly adaptive, frequently found in farms and urban areas where their usual prey is mice.

As many as 300 people are bitten by snakes in Australia each year, but there are few associated deaths. 18 people have died from snake bites in the country since 2011.

Dan Rumsey, from the Australian Reptile Park in Sydney, said snakes only tend to bite when threatened and it was imperative to stay calm and seek medical treatment to avoid the venom spreading.

“Venom travels through your lymphatic system,” he told ABC.

“You need to put pressure on the wound and the limb that has been bitten. Most people are bitten on the hands or ankles.

“As ridiculous as it sounds, you need to stay calm. That will slow down the circulation, getting to hospital as quick as you possibly can.”

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