TV snake expert Mark O’Shea was airlifted to the Worcester Royal Hospital this weekend after suffering a potentially deadly King Cobra snake bite at the West Midlands Safari Park.
The Shropshire Star reports that the 56-year-old, who is regarded as one of the world’s leading reptile experts, was feeding the 10-foot-long snake at the Safari Park when it sunk its fangs into his shoe. Sky News reports that the King Cobra has enough venom to kill an elephant. O’Shea, however, managed to survive the attack.
In fact, after being released from the hospital Mark O’Seah headed right back to the Safari Park.
O’Shea brushed off the incident saying that the majority of the poison was absorbed his shoe and his sock.
“I was feeding her a rat and she moved round it and struck at the next nearest thing which looked like a rat. That happened to be my shoe. She sank her fangs in and soaked my shoe and sock with venom but did not bite me. I have a sore on my toe and the poison must have seeped in through there. It is an occupational hazard for me.”
“It is very, very rare that these things ever happen. Working with animals like this always carries hazards with it, but we have safety measures in place.”
This isn’t the first close encounter for Mark O’Shea. According to Sky News, O’Shea nearly died in 1993 after he was bitten by a rattlesnake.
Here’s a video of another one of Mark O’Shea’s close encounters involving a Zebra Spitting Cobra.