A man in Australia died from a snake bite after attempting to remove the animal from his home to prevent it from attacking his pets.
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Neighbours said Aaron Bryant, 46, came out of his house holding the five-foot eastern brown snake – one of the world’s deadliest – to tell them he had been bitten.
Seemingly unaware of the danger, he was told by a neighbour before collapsing on his driveway: “I’m pretty sure it’s poisonous”.
Mr Bryant found the snake at his house in Townsville, a city in the state of Queensland, and apparently wanted to remove it because he was concerned it may attack his pets.
After picking it up, he showed it to Brett Boggs, his neighbour, saying he had been bitten on the finger.
"He came over to ask me what the snake was and he had it in his hands — I wasn’t entirely sure — it was brown so it looked like a brown snake to me," Mr Boggs told ABC News.
"I said, ‘I’m pretty sure it’s poisonous’… He went down the road and asked someone down there and they said something about a tree snake, so he didn’t think too much of it and within a few minutes [a woman] was yelling for help."
Mr Bryant collapsed in his driveway but neither Mr Boggs nor medics could resuscitate him. The snake was later captured and killed.
From 2000 to 2016, 35 people died from bites in Australia, including 23 who were bitten by eastern brown snakes.
According to the Australian Museum, the eastern brown snake can survive in areas disturbed by humans and “is probably encountered more than any other type of snake”.
Authorities said it was important to keep snake bite victims calm and to bandage the bite without washing it.
Jamie Chapel, a Townsville snake catcher, urged people not to try to kill the snake.
“If you’re ever bitten by a snake or suspect you have been, never wait, call an ambulance and never try to kill the snake, it’s not worth losing yours or someone else’s life over," he wrote on Facebook.
"No snake is ever harmless, it’s either venomous or non-venomous and any snake that feels threatened will bite in defence, do not take the chance, call a snake catcher."