Friday, April 26, 2013

Aussie field hockey captain killed by snake he removed from the pitch

The captain of an Australian field hockey team died after he was bitten by a venomous snake he picked up to remove from the pitch because it was too close to a group of young children.

Karl Berry, the leader of the Commerce-Pints Hockey Club in Darwin, thought the snake was a harmless baby python when in fact, it was a Western Brown — one of Australia's most poisonous snakes.
Not realizing he had been bitten, Mr Berry then set of on a mile-long training run. It was, reptile experts and medical staff agreed today, the worst thing he could have done. The exercise quickly spread the snake's venom throughout his body. Part-way through the run, Mr Berry collapsed. Paramedics arrived as other players comforted him on the hockey field at Marrara Stadium. He was conscious enough to tell them that he had picked up a snake earlier.
"He said he thought it was a python, which would not have been dangerous," said an ambulance operator.
Berry was rushed to Royal Darwin Hospital in critical condition and died a few hours later

In a country — especially Crocodile Dundee's Northern Territory — filled with some of the earth's most deadly creatures, the Western Brown is one of the scariest.  A bite from the slithery reptile cannot be easily noticed and does not inflict any pain.

Chris Peberty, a Darwin snake catcher, said within hours after a bite from the species you have a lack of coordination.

"After that you go into the risk of systematic effects which affect your heart, your lungs and your respiratory systems."

The Land Down Under is home to 20 of the 25 deadliest snakes in the world — including every one in the top-10.

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