Snake park owner bitten
SNAKES Downunder Reptile Park owner Ian Jenkins was recuperating in Bundaberg Hospital yesterday, after he was bitten by an Eastern Brown snake on Monday afternoon.
It is believed Mr Jenkins was handling some snakes for a display when he was bitten about 12.15pm, but paramedics were initially unsure whether his illness was the result of a snake bite or another medical condition.
“We were given advice that it was a snake bite, and we landed at Bundaberg Base Hospital on the way to Childers to pick up some anti-venene,” AGL Action Rescue helicopter pilot Dennis Branch said.
A few minutes later, the helicopter landed in the car park of the reptile park, in Lucketts Road, Childers, where 54-year-old Mr Jenkins was being treated by paramedics from Childers and Howard.
“They thought it might have been a medical condition or a snake bite initially, it wasn’t clear,” Mr Branch said.
“We gave him a vial of anti-venene, and transported him to Bundaberg Base Hospital, where his condition rapidly deteriorated.”
Mr Jenkins was given several more vials of anti-venene upon arrival at the hospital and spent the night in intensive care.
The Snakes Downunder owner made headlines in March 2003 when he survived a bite from a 1.8m mulga snake, commonly known as a King Brown.
But he also reported being bitten twice before that, by black snakes — no surprise as the man has been handling reptiles since he was five years old.
A hospital spokeswoman said Mr Jenkins was still in intensive care last night.
“He is still being monitored for the after-effects of the anti-venene,” she said.
“He feels well, but we are concerned about his condition because of his previous bites, which sensitise people to the anti-venene.”
Mr Jenkins and the operators of Snakes Downunder could not be reached for comment yesterday.
A 35-year-old Mundubbera woman was also bitten by a brown snake on Monday, while mowing her lawn.
“She felt what she thought was a rock flicked up against her ankle, but then she saw a snake slithering away,” Mr Branch said.
The woman started to feel faint and was taken to Mundubbera Hospital, then airlifted to Bundaberg in a stable condition.
“She was not given anti-venene; she was just taken to Bundaberg as a precautionary measure,” Mr Branch said.