Cobra bites toddler who fell from bike on to it

2010-01-12 00:00

A TODDLER is in a serious condition in a Durban hospital after being bitten by a poisonous snake.

It is believed three-year-old Karl Schefer from Kelso, south of Durban, fell off his bicycle on to the snake. He was bitten on the arm.

His parents rushed him to Netcare Kingsway Hospital where he was treated before being moved to Parklands Hospital. His father said he is receiving anti-venom treatment and should recover soon.

Dr Kevin McEwen, an expert in snake-bite treatment at St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, said he believes a Mozambican spitting cobra could have bitten the boy.

“The snake was broad and did not have a pattern on its back which fits the Mozambican spitting cobra’s description.”

According to, the Mozambican spitting cobra is probably the most dangerous snake after the mamba. Its bite causes severe local tissue destruction. Venom to the eyes can cause impaired vision or blindness.

“The boy should make a speedy recovery on condition that he receives the correct anti-venom treatment,” he said.

In a separate incident, McEwen treated a snake handler who was bitten by an exotic monocled cobra. Its venom is so toxic it can immediately break down the victim’s organs and muscles. It is believed he was milking the cobra when he was bitten. He is recovering in St Augustine’s intensive care unit.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.