A man in North Carolina had a close call with death after he was bitten by a deadly snake he kept as a pet.

The Raleigh man was attacked by the venomous green mamba snake at his home Sunday, following which he was rushed to a hospital. To save the unidentified man from the poisonous bite, authorities had to get antivenin from a South Carolina zoo.

"[If] you get bitten by a green mamba without antivenin, your chances of survival are very low," Sean Foley, curator of herpetology at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina, told NBC-affiliated WRAL.com. "It’s a neurotoxic venom, so it’s going to affect your breathing."

Authorities said time was of the essence in the case as the antivenin had to be flown in from South Carolina. The North Carolina Poison Control Center called Foley Sunday night to inquire about green mamba antivenin.

"This is the third time in the last six months or so that we have had to supply antivenin for a venomous bite," he said, adding the antivenin was packed and sent by the Riverbanks Zoo staff, WRAL reported.

A cooler with 10 vials on ice was first sent to nearby Lexington Medical Center before being flown by helicopter to UNC Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, where the man was admitted.

"We wanted to help get it there as quickly as possible to mitigate any symptoms," Foley said. "[With] some of these bites, there is a lot of pain involved, and you can have a lot of tissue destruction if you do not get these products to these people very quickly."

Four vials of antivenin were used on the victim to treat him. Hospital officials said the man is expected to recover.

The Raleigh Police Department's animal control unit launched an investigation to find out how the snake bit the man as state law requires venomous snakes to be kept in a sturdy enclosure with a lock.

"They are out there as pets. I don’t know how common it is. It’s not something I would ever want to have as a pet,” Foley told WRAL. "They are not particularly aggressive, but they are really fast, and they can be difficult for an untrained person to work with. It’s not something I would personally want to have at home, that’s for sure."

According to Riverbanks Zoo, green mambas have bright green scales with a yellow-green underbelly. The snakes are usually shy and would not come in contact with humans. However, they will attack if they are disturbed.

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