Cobra bites woman at wildlife sanctuary

Update 10:55 a.m.:

From Kristen Daum at the scene:

A 2-foot spectacle cobra bit a McCarthy Wildlife Sanctuary employee as the woman was cleaning cages shortly after 5:30 a.m. She is permitted to handle snakes, according to Katie Johnson, spokeswoman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

An antivenin team from Miami arrived at 8 a.m. to help treat her. As of about 9:30 a.m., the woman was in critical condition at Palms West Hospital.

The sanctuary is still offering tours this morning, but at least one state conservation officer is on scene investigating.

At first glance, though, Johnson said it appears the incident was an accident and “It doesn’t look like anything was violated.”

On its website, the sanctuary boasts of “the coolest collection of snakes around.”

Update 10:35 a.m.: The woman bit this morning by a cobra is in stable condition at Palms West Hospital, a spokeswoman reports. The bite was reported by the sanctuary at 5:45 a.m., Palm Beach County Fire Rescue spokesman Capt. Albert Borroto said.

The last snake bite rescue crews were called to treat was from a coral snake, Borroto said. Bites from coral snakes and moccasins are most common in the county, he said. He couldn’t recall a reported cobra bite in the area.

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Unit lists cobra antivenin among the dozens it stocks.

Update 10 a.m.: The cobra bit a woman, who has been taken to Palms West Hospital, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Capt. Albert Borroto said. Sanctuary officials also contacted the Miami-Dade Venom Response Unit, Borroto said. Waiting to hear from unit officials to see if they dispatched someone north.

Original post: A person was bitten by a cobra this morning at McCarthy’s Wildlife Sanctuary in Loxahatchee, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue reports.

Fire rescue crews were dispatched to the sanctuary at 12943 61st St. N. at 5:45 a.m.

The five-acre non-profit sanctuary takes in sick and injured animals from foxes to pelicans. It opened in 1990 and is home to more than 100 animals, including 22 large cats, according to its website.

Check back for details as they become available.

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