A venomous snake bit an employee at the San Diego Zoo on Monday, according to zoo officials.
A zoo spokesperson told 10 News the employee was transported to a hospital for evaluation and medical care.
“Although the San Diego Zoo cares for a number of venomous reptiles, incidents like this are very rare, and the snake was contained at all times with no risk of an escape,” the zoo said in a statement obtained by the Associated Press.
The snake involved is an African bush viper, also known as Atheris squamigera. Native to parts of western and central Africa, their venom can cause fever, hemorrhaging and possibly death in humans, according to the University of Michigan’s Museum of Zoology website.
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There is no known antivenom for an African bush viper’s venom, according to the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York.
However, patients can be treated for their bites using antivenom created for other snakes’ venom. This was the case in January 2015 when the Dallas Zoo helped with the treatment of a local man bitten by an African bush viper he was keeping at his home, though owning one of these snakes is illegal in Dallas and Fort Worth.