Man bitten three times by adder on North York Moors picked up snake

LEAVE ALONE: Adders are Britain's only native venomous snake and should never be picked up

LEAVE ALONE: Adders are Britain's only native venomous snake and should never be picked up

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter (Richmond)

FORESTRY Commission chiefs warned members of the public to never attempt to pick up a snake, after a man was bitten by an adder.

The man was airlifted to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough after being bitten three times by the snake – the only venomous one native to Britain – after he picked it up while in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire, on Wednesday (August 6) afternoon.

The 44-year-old man from Doncaster was treated by a rapid response paramedic at the scene soon after the bite and a paramedic from the South East Coast Ambulance Service who was on holiday also helped to treat the man.

The Great North Air Ambulance trauma team then arrived to stabilise the man before flying him to hospital, where he was said to be seriously ill but in a stable condition.

A spokesman for The Great North Air Ambulance said that he believed the man had been bitten on his arm at least once.

He said: "An ambulance was called first and then the air ambulance was called in called of his deteriorating condition.

"The air ambulance was the best way to help the man because of the forests rural location. We were able to stabilise his condition at the scene before taking him to hospital.”

The Forestry Commission said adders are 'relatively common' and not aggressive animals, using their venom to defend themselves when threatened, usually if they are caught or trodden on.

Forest management director Alan Eves said: "The North York Moors is a good habitat for adders and there is a thriving population in Dalby Forest.

"Most people won't have seen one though and it's even rarer to be bitten by one as they are quite shy and move away from noise and movement.

"Respect that they are wild animals - what you shouldn't do is pick them up."

It is understood the man is recovering well.

Comments (16)

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6:56pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Fat Harry says...

I'm glad the gentleman is recovering well.

As for picking up an adder, words fail me.
I'm glad the gentleman is recovering well. As for picking up an adder, words fail me. Fat Harry
  • Score: 55

7:13pm Thu 7 Aug 14

nottoooldtocare says...

As Fat Harry says, I'm glad he's on the road to recovery, but what in the world was he thinking of?

They're not all locked up are they.
As Fat Harry says, I'm glad he's on the road to recovery, but what in the world was he thinking of? They're not all locked up are they. nottoooldtocare
  • Score: 47

7:57pm Thu 7 Aug 14

pheasant_plucker says...

Darwinism at it's finest!
Darwinism at it's finest! pheasant_plucker
  • Score: 38

8:37pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Tug job says...

One's sympathies are entirely with the adder.
One's sympathies are entirely with the adder. Tug job
  • Score: 54

9:58pm Thu 7 Aug 14

kirchheim says...

The only word to describe the would-be snake charmer is, sadly, moron. As Tug Job wrote, we need to feel sorry for the snake whose day of sunny idleness was ruined by this brainless gentleman.
The only word to describe the would-be snake charmer is, sadly, moron. As Tug Job wrote, we need to feel sorry for the snake whose day of sunny idleness was ruined by this brainless gentleman. kirchheim
  • Score: 34

11:12pm Thu 7 Aug 14

bdlm says...

People who do stupid things like this should be made to pay the considerable medical costs
People who do stupid things like this should be made to pay the considerable medical costs bdlm
  • Score: 38

8:51am Fri 8 Aug 14

sniper 9964 says...

Stupid is what stupid is
Stupid is what stupid is sniper 9964
  • Score: 13

9:51am Fri 8 Aug 14

steaknchips says...

If I was having a relaxing day laid in Dalby forest and some moron picked me up I'd bite him three times #teamadder
If I was having a relaxing day laid in Dalby forest and some moron picked me up I'd bite him three times #teamadder steaknchips
  • Score: 26

10:46am Fri 8 Aug 14

maw.si says...

IDIOT! Good to here he is recovering thou, lesson learnt, leave wildlife alone.
IDIOT! Good to here he is recovering thou, lesson learnt, leave wildlife alone. maw.si
  • Score: 13

12:47pm Fri 8 Aug 14

again says...

Has he never watched Indiana Jones?
Has he never watched Indiana Jones? again
  • Score: 7

12:51pm Fri 8 Aug 14

DYLANESQ says...

Sorry for your pain, buddy, but talk about 'two tools short of a set' !!
Sorry for your pain, buddy, but talk about 'two tools short of a set' !! DYLANESQ
  • Score: 11

2:54pm Fri 8 Aug 14

LeftyLoony says...

I haven't read any story about this so far which has told me what happened to the poor snake. Is it OK?
I haven't read any story about this so far which has told me what happened to the poor snake. Is it OK? LeftyLoony
  • Score: 6

3:42pm Fri 8 Aug 14

the 99% says...

i was once bitten on the face by a cow on the hob moor. i deserved it. never should of picked the thing up.
i was once bitten on the face by a cow on the hob moor. i deserved it. never should of picked the thing up. the 99%
  • Score: 4

5:46pm Fri 8 Aug 14

ouseswimmer says...

There really should be a law against stupidity which costs the public purse.
There really should be a law against stupidity which costs the public purse. ouseswimmer
  • Score: 3

12:04am Sat 9 Aug 14

MouseHouse says...

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Let's hope the snake doesn't catch anything nasty...

Get well soon 44 year old bloke, just think before doing **** foolish things in future please.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Let's hope the snake doesn't catch anything nasty... Get well soon 44 year old bloke, just think before doing **** foolish things in future please. MouseHouse
  • Score: 3

8:30pm Tue 12 Aug 14

kristal27 says...

maybe the snake was in the middle of the road or somewhere it could of got injured and the man picked it up to move it -the fact that he could pick it up probably means it was sick or injured in some way.
maybe the snake was in the middle of the road or somewhere it could of got injured and the man picked it up to move it -the fact that he could pick it up probably means it was sick or injured in some way. kristal27
  • Score: -1

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