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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 02-08-2005, 12:08 AM   #1
Clay Davenport
Zoo's Antivenin Saves Snakebite Victim

CINCINNATI -- A Columbus man bitten by one of the world's deadliest snakes is lucky to be alive, because the Cincinnati Zoo had some rare antivenin. Now zoo personnel are at risk until the antivenin can be replaced, News 5's Bina Roy reported.

After Phil Gallant was bitten by his pet rhino viper, doctors had two choices fly him to Cincinnati or Toledo, the closest places where there was antivenin.
And it had to be quick.

A Dayton man died from a rhino viper bite in 2003 after getting the venom too late.

Toledo was fogged out, so Gallant ended up at University Hospital.

He was upgraded to fair condition Monday.

The Cincinnati Zoo keeps antivenin for every poisonous snake in its collection, reptile expert Winston Card said.

Workers there are still caring for a number of poisonous snakes found inside a North College Hill home last year, including a rhino viper that bit and killed the homeowner.

"But it puts our staff members at risk. Most anti-venoms are experimental drugs. There is a permitting process you've to go though to import that stuff," Card said. "We're going to have to borrow some until we can purchase more."

Gallant has 20 poisonous snakes, and this was not the first time one of them got the better of him.

Ohio and Kentucky do not have a statewide ban on exotic animals. They leave communities to make their own rules.

In Indiana, you do need special permits, and conservation officers can inspect your home.

Old 02-08-2005, 05:38 AM   #2
"Ohio and Kentucky do not have a statewide ban on exotic animals. They leave communities to make their own rules."

Things like this keep happening the above statement will be changing soon.
Old 02-09-2005, 12:35 AM   #3
Clay Davenport
The talk is already starting David. Here's a followup article.

Law says little about deadly pets
Crawford County wants state action after viper-bite case

BUCYRUS -- County and township officials said Monday they lack the manpower to enforce exotic animal regulations.

So Crawford County Commissioner Ron Hoeft has asked the state to regulate exotic animals, such as the rhinoceros viper snake that bit its owner Sunday morning.

"What we feel is the big problem with this man getting bit is when the emergency personnel arrive," he said. "EMTs (respond), but they don't know if the snake is loose. We need to keep our people safe."

Crawford County Sheriff Ronny Shawber said his department received a 911 call Sunday at 3:52 a.m. Phil Gallant, 43, of 1940 Broken Sword Road, Lykens Township, had been bitten by one of the most venomous snakes in the world. The rhinoceros viper's bite can be lethal.

"He was taking care of it," Shawber said. "He was changing the water. These were his pets. He treated them that way."

Lykens Township Trustee David Young said the township has no way to enforce an exotic pet law even if trustees enacted one. He said trustees likely will discuss the incident when they meet Feb. 17 at 7 p.m.

Gallant was flown to University of Cincinnati Medical Center, which had anti-venom. Gallant remained in fair condition Monday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Shawber said deputies knew Gallant kept poisonous snakes, including two cobras, a diamondback rattlesnake and a western rattlesnake.

Gallant has more than 20 snakes, including a dozen poisonous ones, Shawber said. When deputies arrived, they did not know if the snake was loose. Gallant's wife told deputies the viper was caged in a separate building.

"He's not violating the law," Shawber said. "I personally don't see why anyone would want a poisonous snake around. I want to see some type of regulation."

Young knows of no one else in the township who owns exotic pets.

Hoeft said he created a task force last summer to look into the issue of exotic animals in Crawford County after a mountain lion escaped from a home, attacking a neighbor's dog.

Thunder, a 180-pound mountain lion, escaped and attacked a neighbor's dog. Deputies were called to the area of Ohio 19 and Olentangy Road at 8:27 a.m. Aug. 20 to investigate Thunder's escape from the home of Charles Cox.

The commissioners cannot create a law regulating these types of pets, Hoeft said. Townships can regulate animals through zoning or the commissioners can pass countywide zoning.


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