One of the deadliest snakes in the world has been found in a container of rocks that arrived from India. The stonemason who had ordered the rocks said they were not expecting to see the saw-scaled viper in the package. It is believed to have been a stowaway in the shipment.
Lucky to be Alive
The reptile, known to be one of South Asia’s deadliest snakes due to its proximity to inhabited spaces, has been reported to the South Essex Wildlife Hospital. According to staff of the facility, the snake has been locked in a box and placed in a sealed room awaiting collection by an expert.
Upon discovering the unwelcomed package, the stonemason tried to identify the reptile and immediately called the nearby animal hospital for help. The charity's founder and manager, Sue Schwar, said he should consider himself ‘very lucky to be alive’.
The snake was probably cold from travelling, so was not too active.Having dealt with [a saw-scaled viper] before, we understood fully the gravity of just how dangerous these reptiles are - they are way up there in the top few most-deadly snakes
When it was finally collected by staff and a vet to be taken to the hospital in Grays, it was found to be hissing and spitting.
It may not be the world’s most venomous snake, but the saw-scaled viper is quick to bite when it feels threatened. Describing it as a 'very agitated and aggressive'creature, Schwar explained that this family of snakes are found across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
Also known as carpet vipers, these snakes possess a highly toxic venom that contains lethal enzymes which can lead to haemorrhaging, causing victims to bleed to death.
Ms. Schwar said,
This critter [was] definitely not in the country it should have been.