An Australian teenager is hospitalized after being bitten by the world’s most venomous snake, authorities said.
The 17-year-old from Hunter Valley was in serious condition as of Thursday morning after getting bitten on his left hand by an inland taipan snake, also known as a “fierce snake,” the New South Wales Police Force said. His condition was later upgraded to stable.
A team of detectives was dispatched to Kurri Kurri in New South Wales, where the teen was bitten, because the location is more than 600 miles from the inland taipan’s natural habitat, the Newcastle Herald reported.
The inland taipan is believed to be the world’s most venomous snake, with one drop of its venom sufficient to kill 100 adult men and 250,000 mice, Taronga Zoo spokesman Mark Williams told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Julie Mendezona, head keeper of reptiles and spiders at the Australian Reptile Park, described what happens after being bitten by the inland taipan in an interview with the Syndey Morning Herald.
"Effectively what it will do is it will start shutting down the function of messages going to your brain, to your vital organs, your lungs and your heart and even your muscles,” Mendezona said. "So paralysis is usually what happens with the patient. Because it can act so fast, being a neurotoxin, that's what makes it such a deadly animal. It can kill someone within maybe 45 minutes. There have been reports of people experiencing effects of venom within half an hour as well. It also contains an anticoagulant, which means it will interfere with the blood clotting, so therefore you can experience bleeding out as well."
New South Wales Police investigating how the snake made its way to Kurri Kurri said they don’t believe the inland taipan was taken from the Hunter Valley Zoo.
The zoo was broken into Sunday night, where four pythons and two alligators were stolen. But police said no inland taipans were reported stolen.