Man bitten by snake, drives himself to hospital

2011-01-14 09:20

A North West man bitten once by a poisonous snake was not shy to drive himself to hospital, after stopping at the vet first to identify the reptile, Beeld newspaper reported today.

“I’m not particularly scared of snakes,” North West education department deputy director, Jean du Preez, told the newspaper yesterday from his hospital bed.

He was bitten on his hand by a puff adder at a farm school near Potchefstroom on Wednesday, after trying to get it out of a classroom.

Du Preez said he saw children running out of a classroom at the Taaiboschbult Primary School, screaming there was a snake inside.

He fetched a sports bag from his car and went to catch the reptile.

Du Preez found the snake curled up under a cupboard. He took a broom to hold the snake’s head down, and as he was about to grab it, was bitten on two fingers of his left hand.

“... So I grabbed him by the tail, pulled him closer, threw him in the sport bag and closed it,” he said, adding that he began driving himself to hospital.

“My hand started swelling immediately. Later it went numb and I couldn’t change gears any longer.”

He stopped at the Potchefstroom Animal Clinic before the hospital where he asked vet, Dr Nicolize van Rhyn, to identify the reptile.

Hoping it was a python, Du Preez was told it was a young adult puff adder.

According to Beeld, Du Preez was still in hospital and had severe pain reaching up to his left shoulder.

Swelling in this area only eased after he was administered six doses of anti-venom.

The snake was fetched from the hospital by nature conservation, Beeld reported.

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