• Mulga snakes are highly venomous
  • The child woke up after being bitten 
  • A local snake catcher said the girl must have been bitten the first time when she touched the snake with her foot

A 10-year-old girl had to be rushed to an intensive care unit after she was bitten twice by a mulga snake while she was sleeping in her bed.

Emergency medical service was called to the girl's home in Alice Springs, in the Northern Territory of Australia, on Monday evening after she was bitten, The Guardian reported. The snake was more than 3.3 feet (1 meter) in length.

The girl's father, Jason Phillips, said the incident happened on Monday at around 9:30 p.m. (6:30 a.m. ET). "She got into bed about 8:30 p.m., and by 9.30 p.m. she woke up screaming. We didn’t know what was wrong. We thought she had a nightmare or something. She told us her feet were sore. When we pulled back the bedclothes, we saw the snake on the mattress. I was absolutely freaked out,” Phillips said.

While waiting for a St. John ambulance, the couple applied a compression bandage to the wounds while keeping the child calm. They shut the snake in the child's bedroom and waited for a snake catcher to arrive. The girl was taken to a hospital in Alice Springs and was said to be in stable condition.

Upon arrival at the hospital, the girl was experiencing pain from the bites, as well as nausea and vomiting. “She’s not too bad. She’s still pretty sore but still can’t put weight on her foot,” Philips said.

According to St. John regional manager Paul Bellman, the snake seemed to have taken refuge in the child's bed. "At some stage, the snake woke up and did not take kindly to the interruption to its sleep. It's certainly the stuff of movies, finding a snake in your bed in the middle of the night," he said. Mulga, or king brown, snakes are known for their highly toxic and aggressive bites, Bellman added.

Rex Neindorf, a local snake catcher, said that the girl was bitten probably when she touched the snake with one of her feet.

"And so she used her other foot to scratch the area where she was bitten, not knowing what had happened… and so the snake has then bit her on the bottom of the other foot," he said.

Representational image Reuters