A 17-year-old Australian boy is in serious condition after being bitten by what most reptile experts believe is the world's most venomous snake.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the boy was admitted to a hospital in the town of Kurri Kurri with a snakebite on his left hand. He was later transferred to Calvary Mater Hospital in Newcastle.
The snake, which was brought still alive to the hospital by the boy's friend, was identified as an inland taipan. The snake is native to western New South Wales—about 600 miles from where the boy was bitten.
A spokesman for the Taronga Zoo in Sydney told the paper that a drop of the snake's venom "can kill 100 adult men and 250,000 mice."
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Julie Mendezona, head zookeeper at Australian Reptile Park, told the paper that reports of inland taipan bites are extremely rare, and that there have been about 100 in Australia's history. A bite will effectively "start shutting down the function of messages going to your brain, to your vital organs, your lungs and your heart and even your muscles," she said. "So, paralysis is usually what happens with the patient. Because it can act so fast, being a neurotoxin, that's what makes it such a deadly animal. It can kill someone within maybe 45 minutes. There have been reports of people experiencing effects of venom within half an hour as well.
"It also contains an anticoagulant," she added, "which means it will interfere with the blood clotting, so therefore you can experience bleeding out as well."
Barry Martin, a veteran snake catcher who was called in to identify the inland taipan, told the Daily Telegraph it's known as a "fierce snake."
"They [used to be] called the 'two-step snake' as in it bites you, you take two steps and you're dead," he said.