Snake Catcher Calls Wife and Kids to Say Goodbye After Highly Venomous Tiger Snake Bites Him: "This Is It"

An Australian wildlife handler who was bitten by a tiger snake on Tuesday said he rushed to call his wife because he thought he was on the verge of death.

Jamie Lind, of the Australian state of Victoria, told The Courier the venomous animal caught him by surprise while he was attending a call out at a remote property in the city of Ararat. He said he was not expecting there to be such a large snake in the area and didn't have the proper gear to control it.

"Lying there was one of the biggest tiger snakes I have ever seen," Lind told the newspaper.

"I grabbed it by the tail and as I was picking it up above my head, it swung up to bite me on the face. I moved back to miss the bite and it bit me under my shoulder blade in my armpit."

The catcher, who manages a wildlife education business called Jamie and Kim's Mobile Zoo with his wife, worked with the homeowner to administer first aid and call for help. But he said the effects of the venom took hold within 5 minutes and he started to pass out.

Speaking to radio program 3AW Drive with Tom Elliott, Lind said he used his phone to call his wife and tell his children that he loved them because he believed he could die.

"I said goodbye and said 'this is it,'" he said.

First responders took approximately 40 minutes to reach Lind, and he was taken to the Ballarat Base Hospital's Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was given multiple doses of antivenom to combat the effects and is now in recovery.

Today I was out at a snake call out when I was bitten under the arm by a tiger snake. I’m in Ballarat in ICU

Posted by Jamie Lind on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Lind said that he had been catching snakes for eight years without incident. He told 3AW it is breeding season and he had likely encountered a male and female snake.

"I love the animals," he stressed. "They are not an aggressive animal at all unless you go near them. That's what I would like to put across."

For now, Lind acknowledged he will be retiring from his part-time catching job. "My wife demands that I give it up," he conceded.

On Facebook Wednesday, the Jamie and Kim's Mobile Zoo account shared a short statement to 7,500 followers, writing: "We think Jamie is out of woods we thank you all for support.

Hey guys we thank you for all your msgs of support and to all medical teams and special people at they site of bite from...

Posted by Jamie and Kim's Mobile Zoo on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

According to the New South Wales government, Australia currently has about 140 species of land snakes. "Some 100 Australian snakes are venomous, although only 12 are likely to inflict a wound that could kill you," it said, confirming that the tiger snake is one of them.

It explained: "Snakes are not naturally aggressive and always prefer to retreat. They will only attack humans if hurt or provoked and most bites occur when people try to kill or capture snakes. If you come across a snake in the bush, just calmly walk the other way."

File photo: Tiger snake
File photo: Tiger snake stock