Snake Bites Zoo Worker, and There's No Antivenom

'Incidents like this are very rare,' zoo says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 13, 2021 2:50 PM CDT
Venomous Snake Bites San Diego Zoo Worker
An African bush viper in a vivarium in Switzerland.   (Wikimedia Commons/Stephane Magnenat)

A San Diego Zoo employee was hospitalized Monday after being bitten by a venomous snake—one for which no antivenom exists. The zoo says the worker was bitten by the African bush viper—aka Atheris squamigera—in an area of the zoo that is off-limits to the public, KGTV reports. "Although the San Diego Zoo cares for a number of venomous reptiles, incidents like this are very rare," the zoo said in a statement, per KTLA, adding that the snake was "contained at all times with no risk of an escape."

USA Today reports that the bush viper's venom can cause hemorrhaging and potentially death. There is no known antivenom for its bite, though people including a Texas man bitten by a bush viper he illegally kept as a pet have been treated with antivenom developed for the venom of other snakes (Read more snakes stories.)

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