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RSPCA issues snake safety advice after woman bitten in Upminster Park

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 June 2017

A carpet of spring blooms in Upminster Park. Picture: Clarence Barrett via iwitness

A carpet of spring blooms in Upminster Park. Picture: Clarence Barrett via iwitness

Archant

Visitors to a popular park have been warned to be on their guard after a poisonous snake bit a woman enjoying a picnic this week.

While celebrating Father’s Day with a picnic at Upminster Park on Sunday, the family, which included young children, are believed to have disturbed an adder lying in the grass.

When one of their number felt a sharp pain in her leg, she just assumed she had been bitten by an insect but was later informed by medical professionals she had been bitten by a snake and had to be treated for adder venom.

Adders can be identified by their distinctive zig-zag markings along the body and a dark-coloured ‘V’ on the head.

An RSPCA spokesman said: “Adders avoid humans wherever possible, but if you do come across one don’t try to touch it.

“The adder is our only venomous snake and the majority of reported bites occur when one has been accidentally disturbed or deliberately antagonised.

“Death from adder bites is extremely rare but if someone has been bitten, keep the victim calm and seek immediate medical help.”

Adders pose a far greater danger to pets, and any owners who believe their animals have been bitten should take their pet to a vet as soon as possible.

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