A TAMWORTH man has died in hospital after being bitten by a what is believed to be a brown snake.
The 24-year-old passed away in Tamworth hospital late on Wednesday night, despite the frantic efforts of emergency staff to save him.
It is understood the man was bitten by the snake in the backyard of a Cole Rd home in West Tamworth, shortly before 10pm as he tried to move the snake away from a family pet.
He was rushed to Tamworth hospital by family, but passed away within an hour of the bite.
The shock passing will now be referred to the coroner, who will rule on the official cause of death.
On Thursday, Tamworth police were unable to comment on the matter but said a report was being prepared for the coroner.
A spokesperson for Hunter New England Health declined to comment on any admission and said it was a police matter.
The death of the man has shocked the local community, as well as friends and colleagues, and came as the New England North West sweltered through another day of temperatures above 35 degrees.
WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick, one of the group’s reptile handlers, said he was very saddened to hear of the young man’s death in Tamworth.
The local branch had had about 20 call-outs to snake sightings this warm season.
There’s been quite a few this spring and summer, but a lot of the time I’ve gone to the houses or wherever the snake is and they’ve moved on, which they tend to do.WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick
“There’s been quite a few this spring and summer, but a lot of the time I’ve gone to the houses or wherever the snake is and they’ve moved on, which they tend to do,” he told The Leader.
Mr McGoldrick said Eastern brown snakes were the most frequently sighted, but red-bellied black snakes and yellow-faced whip snakes were also pretty common.
He said if someone came across a snake, they should stand still until it moves away, call WIRES on 1300 094 737 and, if possible, keep an eye on it.
Snakes aren’t out to get us, and the best thing people can do is educate themselves about snakes.WIRES volunteer Jacob McGoldrick
“Snakes aren’t out to get us, and the best thing people can do is educate themselves about snakes,” he said.
“They aren’t an aggressive animal, they’re just defensive.”
Mr McGoldrick said that, in the event of a bite, it was important to stay calm, use a compression bandage, stay still and call Triple-0.
It’s believed there have been fewer than 40 deaths from snake bites in Australia since 2000, with the brown snake considered to be one of the deadliest in the country.