Aussie Gets Bitten by Eastern Brown Snake Then Grabs a Beer

March 10, 2014




Leave it to an Aussie to appear so nonchalant about getting bit by one of the most venomous snakes in the world. That is how Rod Sommerville, 54, may have appeared to some after he got bit by an Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis) while working in his Yeppoon, Queensland garden. Sommerville was moving potted plants in his backyard when the 2  1/2 foot snake bit him on the finger. Sommerville then hit the snake on the head with a shovel and called emergency services. After that, he went into his house, grabbed an XXXX Gold beer from his refrigerator and took a seat, telling The Morning Bulletin that "If you panic, you make it worse. I said to myself, if I'm going to cark it (die) I'm going to have a beer, so I got a Goldie out of the fridge and drank that; 'cause you know eastern browns are the second most venomous snake in the world."


eastern brown snake

Photo by Peter Woodard/Wikipedia

The Eastern brown snake is considered the second most venomous snake in the world.


Sommerville was then taken to one hospital and then transferred to another where he was given anti-venom, and this is where the second part of the story kicks in. He suffered an allergic reaction to the anti-venom, spending four days in the hospital's intensive care unit. The anti-venom had an adverse reaction to his kidneys, keeping him in the hospital for several weeks. The brewer of XXXX Gold, one of Australia's most popular beers might just have to send Sommerville a few cases of the beer for being Sommerville's beer of choice after being bitten by an Eastern brown snake.

The Eastern brown snake is considered the second most venomous snake in the world. The majority of snake bite deaths that occur in Australia are from this snake or its cousin, the western brown snake. The Eastern brown snake can be found throughout Australia and into New Guinea. The Eastern brown snake grows to about five feet in length and its venom produces hemotoxic and neurotoxic symptoms with immediate pain and swelling of the lymph nodes.


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