An Ontario man was treated in hospital and released after he was attacked by a three-foot California king snake while he was working at his computer just after midnight Thursday.
The snake, believed to be a neighbour’s pet that had managed to slither its way into the man’s Peterborough, Ont., apartment through a water pipe or a heating vent, was not venomous.
According to Bry Loyst, the curator of the Indian River Reptile Zoo, the man didn’t know the snake was there and he likely startled it while working at the computer.
When the snake bit his hand, the man managed to fling it off and trap it in a garbage bin before rushing to hospital.
At about 2 a.m., the hospital called Loyst, who is also the founder of the Ontario Antivenin Bank, which provides antivenin for emergencies.
It turned out the snake was not dangerous, “but it was a scary situation,” Loyst said. “If I was typing on my computer and a snake latched onto my hand in the middle of the night, I’d be frightened too.”
The man did not want to be identified or speak to the media.
The snake was badly injured and was euthanized. Its owner is still unknown.
“It’s not unusual for people to have pet snakes that escape but it’s unusual for snakes to bite like that,” Loyst said. “Snakes only bite in self defence.”