A tourist bitten by a venomous snake in a Southern Russian resort town on the Black Sea narrowly survived, but a little girl in Central Russia was not as lucky, reports said this week.
The tourist, a 46-year-old woman visiting the beach town of Tuapse, was bitten by a cobra she was posing with for a photo, LifeNews reported Tuesday. With severe swelling on her bitten hand, the woman was rushed to an emergency room for treatment.
The cobra's owner, a local man who would offer photos with the exotic animal to tourists for a fee, has been detained and faces a fine of up to 2,500 rubles ($70) for "providing services of poor quality," the report said.
The man "didn't have the required permit to conduct such an activity, nor did he have any documents for the snake," investigator Natalya Smyatskaya told LifeNews. The man said he purchased the cobra at a market in the nearby city of Krasnodar.
A bite from a cobra can be fatal if the venom reaches the victim's heart, which generally occurs within 60 minutes. Treatment involves keeping the bitten limb lower than heart level to slow down the spread of the venom until doctors can administer an antivenom.
Investigators in the central Vladimir region have opened a check into the quality of emergency services and a local hospital after an 8-year-old girl died from a snake bite.
The incident occurred on July 31, when the girl was taking a walk through a forest with her parents in the Gus-Khrustalny district of Vladimir, about 200 kilometers east of Moscow, the Investigative Committee said in a statement Monday.
The girl's parents immediately called paramedics and the girl was transported to a local hospital, but after her condition worsened, doctors decided to transfer her to a children's clinic.
"Doctors at the children's hospital ascertained that her condition was critical. Despite the intensive-care measures taken, the girl was in the hospital for less than a day and died on Aug. 1," the statement said.
Investigators are now looking into the medical treatment the girl received both from paramedics who served as first responders and from the two hospitals where she was treated before her death.
"Currently, investigators … are located in the medical institutions together with police, where they are confiscating documents," the statement said. A procedural decision will be made in accordance with the results of the investigation.