Philly Zoo Curator Saves Woman's Life - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Philly Zoo Curator Saves Woman's Life



    Philly Zoo Curator Saves Woman's Life
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    LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 21: A venomous southern Pacific rattlesnake tastes the air in Santa Ynez Canyon in Topanga State Park on May 21, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. California's entire state park system, the largest park system in the US, was included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation "11 Most Endangered Historic Places" of 2008. Although California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently backed off from his threat to close 48 state parks - almost 20 percent - to save money for the $10 billion-plus state budget deficit. The wilderness park is considered the world's largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city. Other American locations on the Endangered list include Manhattan's Lower East Side, the historic Art Deco icon Charity Hospital in New Orleans and the adjacent neighborhood, a modernist hotel in Dallas, and an Art Deco movie theater in Philadelphia. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    On Sunday, an unidentified Baltimore woman was getting into her car in a grocery store parking lot when she was bitten by a cobra, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

    The woman claims she picked up the snake because she thought it was a stick and was bit on the finger.

    After being bit, she captured the snake in a shopping bag and brought it to a walk-in medical center – she was promptly rushed to nearby Johns Hopkins Hospital.
    In an effort to save the woman’s life, Maryland Poison Control searched an anti-venom Web site and found a cure. An emergency phone call was made to Jason Bell, Assistant Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians at the Philadelphia Zoo who was able to locate the anti-venom.

    Although the snake a “monocled cobra” doesn’t reside at the zoo, Bell found 30 vials of anti-venom and handed it over to Pennsylvania State Police who rushed the vials to a halfway point where a Johns Hopkins ambulance crew was waiting.

    “Doctors had to use 10 vials of the anti-venom to bring the woman around,” Bell told the Daily News.

    Some speculation has been made to whether the parking lot story is true. Kim Hammond, a Baltimore area veterinarian who helped search for the anti-venom told the paper that since snakes are cold-blooded animals, they couldn’t survive outdoors in cold weather.  Also, the woman didn’t fully explain why she would pick up a stick in a parking lot.