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Police probe Malmö man bitten by deadly snake

Paul O'Mahony · 24 Jul 2010, 12:39

Published: 24 Jul 2010 12:39 GMT+02:00

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The 40-year-old was bitten in the arm by a highly venomous Gaboon viper at his apartment in Malmö at lunchtime on Wednesday, local newspaper Sydsvenskan reports.

A bite from a Gaboon viper can cause death but the 40-year-old survived the attack after making his own way to hospital. It was the second time the man had needed hospital treatment after being bitten by a snake.

A family member notified the police of the incident and the 40-year-old now risks facing criminal charges for his failure to register ownership of the snake.

“The police went to the apartment with the family member and found the snake where it should be, in the terrarium,” police spokesman Kennerth Strand told Sydsvenskan.

The snake was removed from the apartment and placed in the care of the municipal terrarium at Folkets Park in Malmö.

Story continues below…

The Gaboon viper, also known as the forest puff adder, is native to the rainforests of sub-Saharan Africa and is the world's largest viper.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.com)

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Your comments about this article

13:16 July 24, 2010 by JulieLou40
What a pillock. Leave ownership of these creatures to the experts, for everybody's sake!!
13:32 July 24, 2010 by crofab
"...the world's largest and most venomous viper"

It is not the most venomous, but has the most venom.
13:52 July 24, 2010 by Localer
how the snake got here ? did this kind of snake exist in Sweden ?
14:55 July 24, 2010 by eZee.se

There's a whole black market where morons can spend a lot of money to own pets that they shouldn't have (including endangered species).

I hope this moron feels the full force of the law, but then again we are in Sweden so the full force could be 3 months in the pen... if on the other hand he was filesharing (much more dangerous if you believe the propaganda written in the media) he could face a muchhh longer term (up to 2 years).

Remember people, snakes can only kill you... downloading music affects those multi billion dollar industries that buy and sell our politicians - so dont mess with their profits as thats a big no-no.

Or vote pirate party like me ;)
14:56 July 24, 2010 by Aureliano Buendia
rain forests of sub-Saharan Africa? r u kidding me? this should be a new "geographical invention"?
15:28 July 24, 2010 by gabo
@Aureliano Buendia,

I see you are totally blank about the African continent. What seems to be wrong with "Rain forests of sub-Saharan Africa"?

You need to go check your Geography again before you comment...it is said SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA, and NOT Saharan Africa.

For your information, rain forests are not found only in South America, for obviously that is the only continent's whose geography you seem to have a mastery of.
16:58 July 24, 2010 by jimfromcanada
HaHa @Localer, good one.
18:00 July 24, 2010 by silly t
it should go same for all pets... good enough the snake bit its owner... now what if it were otherwise? may be thats when the government would think of banning suc

h "pets".

i forgot that in Sweden there's no distinction between wild and domestic animals........
18:11 July 24, 2010 by Michael Whitfield
Curious to know how this snake was smuggled into Sweden. Perhaps the Customs were sleeping that day. Hard to understand how a person would want this type of pet in his apartment of all places. Gaboon vipers should be left in their native habitat - southern Africa. It is nice to know that some of our readers are real experts in geography! I am sure that many people in the world erronously think that Africa is a country and not a Continent.
18:57 July 24, 2010 by Frank Lee
If the Gaboon viper were truly "one of the world's most poisonous snakes," the man would be dead. A bite from a green mamba, for example, kills you within seconds.
21:47 July 24, 2010 by zeulf
dear F Lee Aparently some Snakes can "choose" to deliver or not inject Venom. This guy got lucky twice. Any Herpetologists out there to tell Us more?
01:29 July 25, 2010 by calebian22
So, only a Darwin award honorable mention. Too bad, maybe next time he will bring his A-game and die the death of a moron.
01:50 July 25, 2010 by GLO
What a dumb ASS!!!!!
06:30 July 25, 2010 by AussieAndy
What an idiot. Playing with deadly snakes

This snake is not the worlds most venomous, or even makes the top 20. The most venomous is the Inland Taipan or Fierce Snake (Oxyuranus microlepidotus) found in Australia.
11:23 July 25, 2010 by ou2chi
@Aureliano Buendia

It's OK to be an idiot if you keep it to yourself. But please stop using your idiocy to question the knowledge of others. New geographical invention? I guess it's time for you to go to special school for geography classes.
12:35 July 25, 2010 by gabeltoon
Let's leave these tropical animals and birds in there natural habitat. This is bound to happen when they are out of there comfort zone. Try keeping a rescue dog or cat it's much safer. I'm sure their are plenty in rescue homes in SWEDEN that whould be glad of the rehoming.
13:55 July 25, 2010 by frosty2912
i have over 25years of experiance of handling snakes and exotics there is very little differance in the worlds most toxic snake (inland taipan) and the number 20 most toxic. the reason people get gabboons is they are mild tempered and slow moving... however they can strike 3/4 of there body length at amazing speed and should only be cosidered by very experianced keepers..no snake bite kills in seconds......unless on a very old person or young child... the venom of a gabboon is a heamotoxin (not sure if that is spelt correct) and would cause a slow painfull death without anti venom.. the fastest killing venom is found in cobras ,mambas,sea snakes.. a black mamba bite has killed a healthy adult man in 43 minutes
15:01 July 25, 2010 by karex
Actually, I believe the term "poisonous" has been used in error. The experts correct me if I'm wrong but there is a difference between poison and venom. You can drink snake venom (unless you have open sores in you mouth or stomache) and you will just digest it. If you drink poison (like arsenic) it will kill you. Venom has to be injected to be harmful.

And I believe that zeulf is correct: snakes can choose to give "dry" bites. I heard that many do since they need their venom to hunt for food and if they waste it on something too big to eat, they will go hungry until their body can produce more.
16:59 July 25, 2010 by Nemesis
What kind of idiot keeps an animal that dangerous, in there home?
09:13 July 26, 2010 by Cage
Nemesis... you said it very well, but I feel the need to echo your sentiment.

What kind of an idiot keeps an animal that dangerous, in there home?
09:19 July 26, 2010 by Cage
and for all you grammar nerds out there:

What kind of an idiot keeps an animal that dangerous in their home ?
11:23 July 26, 2010 by Flappytango
...home ?

@ grammar nerds

is the space between home and ? required??
02:56 August 15, 2010 by Snakeman
AussieAndy is right about the world's most deadly snakes.

Australia does have the top five and our company here in

Australia, Snakebusters reptile showsAustralia uses these snakes daily for our shows.

While our staff are regarded as the world's best snake handlers, they can and do get bitten (as it comes with the turf of handling them all the time), and we do not get carted off to hospitals and the like.

The reason is because we alone have surgically devenomized snakes.

These snakes are painlessly made this way and the result is no cruel stick handling of snakes and no risk to us or the public.

Maybe other reptiel handers should use the same methods to save the taxpayers bailing them out every time they are bitten.


Raymond Hoser

Snakeman, Snakebusters

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