A Dad’s Attempt to Clear a Day Care Center of a Venomous Snake Turns Tragic

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Its name may sound boring enough, but the eastern brown snake is one of the world’s deadliest. That’s why when Australia’s Jerromy Brookes found out there may have been one nestled in a Queensland child-care center this week, he rushed in to retrieve it—a move that ended up costing him his life. ABC Australia reports that the 47-year-old dad of three entered the facility in Townsville on Tuesday and was bitten multiple times on the arm. He reportedly drove himself home, where his wife tried to take care of him, but he then went into cardiac arrest and was taken to a local hospital by ambulance, where he died.

7News reports that the child care center is now under investigation by workplace safety officials, especially considering Brookes didn’t have a permit to handle or remove snakes. The outlet also notes it hasn’t been confirmed that the creature that bit him was a brown snake (though that’s the running theory), and that while Brookes’ wife and daughters are child care workers, the facility where he was bit isn’t believed to be the one where they work. “He was doing his very best to keep the children safe,” Michelle O’Connor, who employs his family members, tells ABC.

Per the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, a couple of hundred people are hospitalized annually in Australia after coming into contact with brown snakes, though fatal snake bites are rare in the island nation, per AFP. “We have very good quality antivenom in Australia,” says Christina Zdenek of the Australian Reptile Academy. The indigenous brown snake, which ranks among Australia’s most dangerous slitherers, is described by Australian Geographic as “fast-moving, aggressive, and known for [its] bad temper.” As for what you should do if you ever find yourself on the receiving end of a snakebite: “[Stay] still, calm, and [wrap] the whole limb tightly with a stretchy bandage,” Zdenek says. (More snake bite stories.)



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