Shaanxi Woman Left Brain Dead After Pet Snake Bite

By Jesse Pottinger, July 20, 2018

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Online shopping is great – in the Middle Kingdom, we can have just about anything delivered right to our door in no time. But there are some purchases that seem to defy all logic, and a venomous, endangered snake is certainly one.

For a young woman in Weinan, Shaanxi, the online acquisition proved dire. 

The 21-year-old, referred to by the pseudonym Xiaofang, was bitten on the index finger of her left hand by a highly venomous snake she had bought as a pet. The bite caused Xiaofang to slip into a coma; she is now on life support in the hospital, where doctors have pronounced her brain-dead, reports Chinese Business View.

According to South China Morning Post, local media reported that the incident happened on July 9 in the woman’s home, where she was believed to have been keeping the snake – known as the many-banded krait – as a pet.

Her parents told reporters that after the bite, their daughter rushed to the store to buy a Band-Aid. But when the pain persisted, she called them for help. An hour later, dizziness and nausea began to set in, and shortly after they arrived at the hospital, Xiaofang fell into a coma. 

Because the many-banded krait is not native to Shaanxi, the hospital did not have the correct antivenin to counter the bite. It wasn’t until the next night that she was treated with the appropriate antidote. 

READ MORE: Snake Hunter Arrested by Police in Guangdong Following Live-Stream

Chat logs from Xiaofang’s phone indicate that she bought the snake online, according to Chinese Business View, although the platform used is unclear.

In correspondence with the seller, Xiaofang was informed that the snake was poisonous and asked why she wanted to buy it. Xiaofang replied that she intended to make snake wine – a TCM concoction that involves fermenting a serpent in alcohol – but friends and parents claim that she intended to keep the animal as a pet.

The snake was reported missing by the woman’s parents on July 10, but was found dead the same day not far from their home.

The many-banded krait is listed in China as a protected rare and endangered species. As such, the sale or harm of the species is strictly prohibited.

With additional research by Bailey Hu.

READ MORE: Venomous Snake Under Shared Bike Seat Bites User in Guangzhou

[Cover image via Poleta33/Wikimedia]

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