several times more poisonous than native species – Taiwan German News

Doctors who treated a snake-bitten man in a mountainous district of Taichung City earlier this month concluded that the man was bitten by a Thai cobra, raising concerns about a dangerous invasive species found in the country Takes root.

The 64-year-old man named Zhou was hiking the Dakeng No.9 Trail just before sunrise on November 2 when he was bitten in the ankle by a cobra. Zhou turned to see a doctor, but fell to the ground after a few steps.

Fortunately, Zhou was found by other hikers a short time later. The hikers helped Zhou to the trailhead, where a local resident transported him downhill on a small truck and met with an ambulance.

Zhou’s life was saved, but the venom from the bite on Zhou’s ankle had spread to his calf and thigh, and he has undergone a number of surgeries since then, including a debridement to remove necrotic tissue. A doctor told the TTB that it was the worst snakebite injury he had seen in more than 10 years of medical practice.

Doctors told the Taichung Tourism Bureau that after taking blood tests, they concluded that Zhou was infected by a Thai cobra (Indochinese spitting cobra: Well siamensis). The species is many times more venomous than the cobra native to Taiwan (Well atra).

Zhou will have to have another operation in the next few days. Medical treatment has put a strain on the Zhou family’s finances, and the TTB will assist Mr. Zhou with liability insurance claims, the office said.

The tourist office has posted warnings at the trailhead and is consulting with snake experts and relevant agencies to plan a strategy for dealing with the situation.

This is not the first time cobras have been reported in the Dakeng area. In 2019 the office issued warnings to hikers after a very large cobra was sighted on a popular hiking trail. As early as 2015, there were reports that Buddhist religious groups were suspected of releasing snakes in the area.

The TTB urged users of the trails to take precautionary measures.

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