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Pretoria – A 12-year old boy who was bitten on the shoulder by a spitting cobra is recovering well and even keeps the dead snake in a bottle to brag about it, his mother says.
Jake Taylor, 12, was on holiday with friends at a resort in northern KwaZulu-Natal when he woke up at about 04:30 on Friday morning from a “pain in his shoulder”, his mother Leila told Netwerk24.
He then realised that a snake had attacked him in his sleep.
“When he opened his eyes he saw the snake on his hand. Luckily, his instincts kicked in and he kicked it out of his bed and got away from it,” Leila said on Monday.
The spitting cobra (Naja mossambica) is one of the most dangerous in Africa.
The snake was killed.
“Jakes’ friend’s parents called an ambulance and the ambulance with a snake expert on board met them on the way to the hospital,” Leila said.
He was treated at the Ngwelezana hospital in Empangeni, where doctors decided not to give him antivenom. He was released the next day.
He is still in pain and his wound still has to be treated. “He was bitten on the shoulder blade but when he got home he was in so much pain he couldn’t walk up the stairs. Luckily, he seems to be improving,” his mother said.
“He is a huge Bear Grills and Survivor fan and he won’t let this incident get him down.”
Snake expert Johan Marais said spitting cobras are responsible for most attacks in South Africa – up to 7 000 per year. Their bite rarely causes death.
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