According to reports, a San Diego Zoo employee was hospitalized Monday afternoon after being bitten by a poisonous snake.
The incident occurred when the wildlife specialist cared for the African bush viper, known scientifically as Atheris squamigera, in a non-public area, the zoo said.
The zoo added, “In accordance with our protocols, the staff member was immediately taken to a hospital for evaluation and medical care, and we remain in close contact.”
The staff member is currently in unknown condition, 10 News reported.
“While the San Diego Zoo is home to some venomous reptiles, incidents like this one are very rare, and the snake was under control at all times with no risk of escape,” the zoo added in a statement.
National Geographic says of the adder from parts of West and Central Africa, “Their venom is usually dead within days.”
The symptoms of a reptile bite include “severe kidney damage and disruption of blood clotting and flow” and “severe inflammation, bleeding and tissue death”.
The snake “can cause fever or internal bleeding, which can be fatal,” reported an American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) study.
According to the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, New York, there is no known antidote for African bush viper venom.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.