New South Wales police are trying to ascertain how a 17-year-old boy came to be bitten by the world's most venomous land snake, despite being hundreds of kilometres from its natural habitat.
Staff from Kurri Kurri Hospital alerted police after the youth went to the emergency unit reporting he’d been bitten on his left hand by a snake. He was taken to the Mater Hospital where he is reported to be in a stable condition.
The snake was brought to the hospital and local wildlife volunteers identified it as an inland taipan. Police have been advised this snake is not indigenous to the area.
The inland taipan is known colloquially as a 'fierce snake', reaches up to 2.5 metres in length and is native to central Australia. According to Australia Zoo, it is the world's most venemous land snake according to the median lethal dose.
"One bite possesses enough punch to drop 100 full grown men," Australia Zoo's website says.
Police are now trying to establish how the boy came to be bitten, and hope to speak to the young man once he is considered well enough.
Officers do not believe the incident is related to a break-in at Hunter Valley Zoo on Sunday night where thieves stole four pythons and two alligators. No taipans were reported stolen from the zoo.