Man Dies from Coral Snake Bite - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 07-26-2006, 12:37 PM   #1
Man Dies from Coral Snake Bite

I think this is a new story. Couldn't really tell from the article.

Alcohol, snakes don't mix

That year-old incident came to mind while reading news stories out of Florida. Both underscore the continuing problem of people not treating wildlife with the respect they require and deserve.

The Florida incident involves a particularly dangerous combination alcohol and poisonous snakes.

This week, a 29-year-old Florida man became the first person in the United States in perhaps 40 years to have his official cause of death listed as "coral snake bite."

According to newspaper reports, the victim was among a group hanging out in a patch of woods, drinking, when they discovered a brightly colored snake, which they decided needed killing, so they began beating it.

Somehow, the little coral snake managed to bite the 29-year-old and another man in the group.

The other man put the snake in a plastic container and went to a fire station where a firefighter identified the reptile as a coral snake.

The man was immediately taken to a hospital where he was treated and survived.

Back in the woods, the 29-year-old eventually collapsed.

He was dead when medical personnel found him.

Coral snake venom is incredibly powerful neurotoxin, paralyzing muscles and typically killing through respiratory failure.

But because coral snakes are so small, typically very mild mannered and their fixed fangs so short and located well back in a small mouth, bites are fairly rare.

At first, medical personnel were uncertain of the cause of death, despite his having been bitten, according to one report, multiple times. After all, the dead man's blood/alcohol level was .32, or four times the level Florida law sets for intoxication.

But the medical examiner decided it was the snake venom that killed him, and listed that as official cause of death.

Medical officials familiar with snake-bite deaths said this is the first documented fatality from coral snake bite they can find in the United States since 1967, when coral snake antivenom first became available.
Old 07-27-2006, 08:02 AM   #2
Chris Olson
It's really tempting to say "he got what he deserved." I have no tolerance for people that kill things for pleasure or out of ignorance .

Old 07-27-2006, 01:29 PM   #3
It's a shame this happened. But the combination of the alcohol and the snake venom would probably kill anybody, especially is they were bitten 3 or 4 times.
I agree with Chris about the killing of innocent animals.
Regretfully, this is the end result of ignorance, alcohol, and a deadly snake bite.

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