Venomous viper bites worker at San Diego Zoo

Wilson Wong
·1 min read

A venomous snake bit an employee at the San Diego Zoo on Monday, officials said.

The incident occurred while a wildlife care specialist was caring for an African bush viper in a non-public area, according to the zoo, NBC San Diego reported.

Image: Bush Viper (Mark Kostich / iStockphoto - Getty Images)
Image: Bush Viper (Mark Kostich / iStockphoto - Getty Images)

“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.

The zoo specialist was taken to a hospital for evaluation and medical care, the zoo said. The name of the worker was not released. The condition of the employee was unknown Tuesday.

African bush vipers are small reptiles known for their dorsal scales that give them a dragon-like appearance. There is no antivenom for the African bush viper, and bites can cause fevers or internal bleeding, which can be fatal.