Ian Jenkins was bitten by Blackie the Eastern Brown Snake but knew nothing of it – until he passed out.
Ian Jenkins was bitten by Blackie the Eastern Brown Snake but knew nothing of it – until he passed out. KKEN SMITH/ ISIS TOWN AND COUNTRY

Jenkins bitten by brown snake

DESPITE biting the hand that feeds him, Blackie the Eastern Brown snake was back on show at the Childers reptile park yesterday.

Snakes Downunder owner Ian Jenkins was also back at work after spending a night in intensive care at Bundaberg Hospital, suffering the after-effects of a bite he received on Tuesday.

“Apart from feeling like a complete idiot, I’m fine,” he said.

“If someone told me they didn’t realise they were bitten by a snake, I wouldn’t have believed them. I used the same snake in a show today – when you fall off the horse, you’ve got to get straight back on.”

Mr Jenkins said it was a wake-up call about how easy it could be to be bitten by a Brown snake and not even realise.

“I thought I just had a scratch, I didn’t even think about it – even in the hospital, we couldn’t find any puncture marks,” he said.

It is believed Mr Jenkins was bitten when he was handling the snake before a show.

“I climbed into the arena and felt like I had a bit of heartburn, but I continued to the end of the show,” he said.

“I went to put the snake away, apologised to the public and passed out.”

He said the venom from Eastern Brown snakes was not painful, which meant it could be easy to mistake a bite for a scratch.

Queensland Ambulance Service officer-in-charge Gary Cotterill said staff at the reptile park gave excellent first-aid.

“We discounted a heart-attack fairly early on and I got his wife to do a pressure immobilisation.

“Even the hospital couldn’t find a bite – a Brown snake has small fangs and only a tiny bit of venom and look at what it’s done.

“With snake bites, it’s not about technology – pressure immobilisation has been the treatment used for years and it still works best.”



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