Australian Man Dies After Being Bitten by Snake He was Trying to Remove from Child Care Centre

Jeremy Brookes
A brown snake (For representation) and Jeremy Brookes. Twitter/Facebook

An Australian man died after being bitten by a highly venomous snake he was trying to remove from a childcare centre in a bid to "keep the children safe," local media and emergency services said on Wednesday.

Paramedics in the north-eastern state of Queensland responded to reports of the snake attack on Tuesday afternoon and upon arriving at the scene, they found the man in critical condition.

Victim Didn't Have a Permit to Handle or Remove Snakes

The man was believed to have been bitten by a brown snake, one of the most lethal species in the world. The snake was about 30 centimetres long.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation identified the victim as 47-year-old Jerromy Brookes. He was transported to Townsville hospital and later died, a spokesperson for Queensland Ambulance Service told AFP.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Brookes, who did not have a permit to handle or remove snakes, was trying to remove the serpent from a child care centre where his wife and their two daughters worked in early childhood education.

"He was doing his very best to keep the children safe," his family's employer, Michelle O'Connor, told ABC.

Most Fatal Snake Attacks in Australia Take Place When People Try to Catch or Kill Them

Deaths due to snake bites are rare in Australia, with only a handful of fatal attacks recorded each year. According to experts, most fatal snake attacks are from people attempting to catch or kill a snake.

About 200 people are hospitalized each year due to contact with brown snakes, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

Snakes are most active from September through to January, as the cold-blooded reptiles warm up in the austral summer.

Christina Zdenek of the Australian Reptile Academy says the best way to treat a snake bite is by "staying still, calm and wrapping the whole limb tightly with a stretchy bandage".

"Don't ever try to kill a snake," she added.

Eastern brown snakes are found throughout eastern Australia and in isolated populations in central and western parts of the country, as well as in southern and eastern New Guinea. They are "fast-moving, aggressive and known for their bad temper," according to Australian Geographic, which ranks it as the most dangerous snake in the country.