Sunday, 20 August 2006

Scotland's contender for the Darwin Award

This story reminds me of an incident at my previous university. One of our zoology students came in to the lab carrying a small snake.

'Is this poisonous?' she said.

'Why do you want to know?'

'Because it just bit me.'

She had picked it up because it was pretty. And she figured that a pretty snake couldn't be dangerous. (I'm not making this up.) We knew it was one of the whip snakes—mildly venomous, not life-threatening—but we were going to teach the silly girl a lesson. While we waited for the ambulance, one of the technicians, who was an ex-nurse, wrapped up the bitten hand and bandaged it to her opposite shoulder so she couldn't move. I think she learnt her lesson.

As this fellow did, I hope.

From The Scotsman, 19 August 2006


Craig Brown

A HILLWALKER who nearly died after he was bitten by an adder revealed that he picked up two of the snakes so his brother could take a photo of them with a mobile phone.

Robert McGuire was bitten last Saturday while holidaying on the Isle of Arran.

The 44-year-old suffered a severe allergic reaction to the bites and had to be taken to hospital by air ambulance from a remote area of Goat Fell. He spent six days receiving treatment.

Speaking for the first time since he was released from hospital, Mr McGuire described the moment he was bitten.

"I was out for a walk with my brother Steve and his kids. We were going off to have a picnic at a local beauty spot.

"The next minute, one of the kids ran up and said there was a snake in the grass. I just thought it was a grass snake.

"I just bent down to pick it up so my brother could take a photo with his mobile phone. Suddenly a massive black snake just appeared, so I picked that up too. It was then that the second one just sank his fangs right into my hand and then the other one did the same to my other hand."

Read the whole story at The Scotsman.

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