Chinese man buys deadly snake online that bites him in ‘suicide attempt’

Bite from many-banded krait hospitalises man in incident media reports claim is an attempt to take his own life, although he later begs doctor to save him

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 7:12pm
UPDATED : Friday, 12 October, 2018, 7:12pm

A 25-year-old man is fighting for his life in eastern China after he was bitten by a venomous snake he bought online in what local media described as a suicide attempt.

The man, who lives in Hangzhou, was identified by his nickname Xiaoli by local newspaper Qianjiang Evening News. According to its report, he bought the metre-long many-banded krait snake online.

At around 5pm on Wednesday, he was bitten by the snake, then hours later dialled for emergency services to take him to the hospital.

The bite was portrayed by the newspaper and by news outlet Thepaper as an attempted suicide, each citing medical workers’ accounts of the man’s comments while being taken to hospital.

No official statements have been made by local authorities.

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When Xiaoli arrived at a local hospital in the early hours of Thursday, he was having trouble breathing. The hospital did not have a krait venom antidote, so Xiaoli was transferred to Hangzhou Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where he was administered a suitable antidote, according to the report.

During the treatment, it stated, Xiaoli expressed his will to live. “Doctor, I have money, please save me,” he was quoted as saying.

On Thursday evening, Xiaoli remained in the intensive care unit, where doctors were monitoring him for signs of respiratory failure, according to hospital officials quoted by Thepaper. The snake was kept at the hospital.

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“The krait is the most venomous snake in China,” one doctor was quoted as saying. “One milligram of toxin of an adult krait snake can kill more than a dozen people.” Luckily for Xiaoli, the bite was probably not as severe as it could have been, the doctor added.

Xiaoli had recently lost money in an investment, his family members told local media.

The krait belongs to a group of nationally protected animals whose sale is not permitted without government approval. Private and online transactions are illegal, according to state media reports.