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Indian Man Bites Snake in Self-Defense and Survives Venomous Attack

Image via depositphotos/ India Times

In an extraordinary turn of events, an Indian man named Santosh Lohar bit a snake twice after it had bitten him, believing it would neutralize the venom. This incident occurred in Bihar, India, where local superstition influenced his reaction. Santosh survived after receiving medical treatment, but the snake did not.

The Incident

Indian Man Bites Snake in Self-Defense and Survives Venomous Attack
Santosh via India Today

While laying railway tracks in a forested area of Rajauli, Santosh, 35, was bitten by a snake. In a reflexive response driven by local beliefs, he bit the snake back twice.

Local Superstition

cobras
cobras are highly venomous. Source: Image by alinamd via Depositphotos

In Santosh’s village, there is a belief that biting a snake back twice will nullify its venom. This superstition led him to take the unusual action of biting the snake.

Immediate Medical Response

King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). Image via Deposit Photos

Santosh was quickly transported to a nearby hospital where he received an anti-venom antidote. He was released the following day after recovering from the bite.

High Snakebite Mortality in India

Spitting Cobra
Mozambique spitting cobra. Image via Deposit Photos.

India reports around 50,000 snakebite deaths annually, with four species—saw-scaled viper, Indian cobra, common krait, and Russell’s viper—responsible for 90% of these incidents.

Common Venomous Snakes in India

False Water Cobra (Hydrodynastes gigas) slithering on the bare ground

India is home to nearly 300 snake species, with over 60 being highly venomous. The “Big Four”—Indian Cobra, Russell’s viper, common krait, and saw-scaled viper—are the most dangerous.

The Nature of Snake Venom

king cobra
King cobra. Image via Depositphotos

Snake venom is a protein-like substance stored in glands and is only harmful when it enters the bloodstream. Biting a snake, therefore, has little effect on the venom itself but increases the risk of further bites.

Medical Uses of Snake Venom

Indian snakes
Two cobras perform in Varanasi, India. Source: Image by Cornfield via Depositphotos

Interestingly, snake venom is used in medicine to treat various conditions, including cancer, high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

The Unconfirmed Snake Species

King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). Image via Depositphotos

The species of the snake that bit Santosh remains unconfirmed. The quick medical intervention likely saved his life.

High-Risk Areas in India

king cobra curled up
The mystical king cobra and coffee forest. Image via Michael Allen Smith from Seattle, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bihar is one of the top three Indian states with the highest number of snakebite incidents, accounting for approximately 4,500 annual deaths.

Misconceptions About Snake Venom

False Water Cobra (Hydrodynastes gigas) on black background. Image via Deposit photos.

Despite local beliefs, medical experts advise against retaliatory bites. Instead, immediate medical attention and proper identification of the snake are crucial.

Symptoms of Venomous Bites

Angry Cape cobra snake with it’s hood spread

Symptoms from venomous snake bites include blurred vision, difficulty breathing, pain, swelling, and internal bleeding due to the venom’s neurotoxins and hemotoxins.

Proper Response to Snake Bites

cobra snake
A cobra bite needs immediate medical attention. Source: Image by hecke06 via Depositphotos

Experts recommend seeking immediate medical help, removing jewelry before swelling begins, and safely photographing the snake for identification purposes.

Importance of Medical Attention

cobras
cobras are highly venomous. Source: Image by alinamd via Depositphotos

Receiving prompt medical attention is vital for treating snake bites and preventing severe complications or fatalities.

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