San Diego Zoo Handler Hospitalized After Being Bitten by Venomous Snake | Inside Edition

San Diego Zoo Handler Hospitalized After Being Bitten by Venomous Snake

A stock image of the Vogel's Pit Viper (Trimeresurus vogeli), a snake of the similar species as African Bush Viper.
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The employee was in a private area of the zoo caring for the African bush viper when the snake attacked, said a zoo spokesperson. The staff member was immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation and medical care, People reported.

A zoo handler has been hospitalized after being bit by a venomous snake at the San Diego Zoo in an incident that the zoo calls “very rare,” People reported.

The employee was in a private area of the zoo caring for the African bush viper when the snake attacked. The staff member was immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation and medical care, a zoo spokesperson told People. 

The spokesperson said that the San Diego Zoo cares for a number of venomous reptiles. “The snake was contained at all times with no risk of an escape,” the zoo said in a statement to USA Today.

The African bush viper is an ambush predator and commonly strikes its prey while hanging upside down from a tree limb. There is no antivenom treatment specific to the species. They are commonly called “green vipers,” however they can be found in variations of orange, gray, yellow, black-blue, olive and brown. They also may change color throughout their lifespan, according to the Seneca Park Zoo’s website. 

The African bush viper, also known as Atheris squamigera, is native to parts of western and central Africa. According to the University of Michigan's Museum of Zoology website, their venom can cause fever, hemorrhaging and possibly death in humans.

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