March 24, 2023


pets keep it coming

More And More People Are Being Bitten by Exotic Snakes in The UK. Here’s Why

3 min read

The selection of men and women obtaining bitten by unique snakes in the Uk is on the increase, and experts say it is really due to the fact an increasing range of non-indigenous snakes are becoming kept captive in households as pets.


A new research logs 321 exotic snake bites on 300 various men and women amongst 2009 and 2020, involving 68 diverse species – about 30 a yr on ordinary. Examine that with 133 between 2004 and 2010, an common of 22.

The facts was collected via information of snake chunk enquiries to the Countrywide Poisons Data Service (NPIS) in the United kingdom. Enquiries about bites from the European adder – the only toxic snake indigenous to the United kingdom – or situations where the identity of the snake was mysterious weren’t provided in the figures utilized for this study.

“Most of these bites happen to fingers, palms and wrists following deliberate handling interaction by folks who maintain snakes as portion of their occupation or hobby,” claims David Warrell, a professor of tropical medication at the University of Oxford in the British isles.

“Though possession of lots of toxic species necessitates a unique licence in the British isles, it is acknowledged that some individuals may preserve these snakes illegally – that means the true quantities of exotic snake bite accidents may possibly be underestimated.”

The 300 persons afflicted incorporated 72 small children (aged 17 decades or less than). Of those little ones, 13 were being 5 yrs previous or young, but none experienced severe accidents. Most of the bites – 207 or pretty much two-thirds – took place to guys.


Out of all the individuals bitten, 15 experienced significant injuries. These 15 include things like a one fatality, the tragic situation of a reptile conservationist who died soon after currently being bitten by a king cobra, and obtaining formerly survived a bite from an eastern green mamba snake.

It’s approximated that about 1 in 100 households in the United kingdom now possess a pet snake, and the report is an indicator of the potential risks that appear together with holding these an animal captive – even if these bites stay a rare event all round.

“The prospect of staying bitten by an exotic, non-native snake in the United kingdom is however remote, with bites commonly transpiring in people preserving these snakes as aspect of their profession or interest,” claims Pardeep Jagpal, from the NPIS in Birmingham in the United kingdom.

According to the report, nine people ended up bitten 2 times and 1 particular person experienced the misfortune to be bitten a few instances. As for every the Entire world Wellbeing Business (WHO), there are a lot more than 250 species of venomous snakes thought of “medically crucial” in terms of the injury they can do with their bites.

Breaking the bites down by species, 184 arrived from the Colubridae family members of snakes (which include hognose snakes, king snakes and fake h2o cobras), 30 came from the Viperidae family members (which include the western diamondback rattlesnake and the copperhead), and 14 arrived from the Elapidae household (most normally Indian cobras, monocled cobras and king cobras).

The NPIS supplies specialist advice and medical care in the Uk to those who have endured a snake chunk, but the scientists say that those who decide on to retain these animals as pets have to take the chance of getting bitten as “one particular of the dangers of possession”.

“Speedy accessibility to professional clinical assistance and the availability of correct anti-venom are critical things to consider when these incidents happen,” states Jagpal.

The analysis has been printed in Medical Toxicology.