Man Dies After Being Bitten By Highly Venomous Brown Snake While Camping with Friend: 'Never Be Complacent Around Them'

A 68-year-old man has died after being bitten by a snake while camping with a friend at a national park in Australia, a government spokesperson has said.

The fatal attack occurred at Garig Gunak Barlu National Park—a "remote and rugged" Northern Territory site roughly 350 miles north-east of Darwin, 9News reported. Officials have said the man's death was the result of a bite from a highly venomous Western Brown snake.

A spokesperson from the tourism department told 9News the man went to a local ranger's station but passed away despite treatment.

A statement about the incident read: "Treatment immediately commenced in consultation with the District Medical Officer and CareFlight. Sadly, the man lost consciousness and later died."

Personal details of the victim, who had been traveling in the Top End, have not yet been released.

The man passed away last Wednesday, ABC reported.

Wildlife expert Matthew Lamb told 9News more snakes are in the wild this time of year as it's mating season. "They're normally not a very large snake, and they're very fast-moving," he said, describing Western Browns, one of many venomous snakes common in the country.

"All it takes... is for someone to step on them, and that's just a natural reaction for them to bite. It's more often a mistake when it happens, they'll more often try and get out of your way."

For now, the circumstances of the victim's bite remains unknown. "You've always got to treat a snake as if it is poisonous, never be complacent around them," Lamb noted.

A fact-sheet published by the Australian Museum says Western Browns are not as aggressive as Eastern Browns but will "readily defend itself if provoked" by striking quickly.

"The snake's fangs are quite short, only 2-3 mm, however the venom is very potent and has high neurotoxic and haemolytic activity," the fact-sheet explains. "A bite from any species of brown snake should be treated as life-threatening and medical attention sought without delay."

Victims are advised to avoid washing the area of a bite as medical officials will need to use the venom for identification. Experts warn that use of tourniquets will make the situation worse. Instead, victims should apply a firm bandage over the bite area and get to the hospital.

According to 9News, citing statistics from the Royal Flying Doctor Service, which serves rural or remote communities, there are roughly 3,000 snake bites in the country every year.

This month, Australian snake handler Barry Goldsmith shared a shocking photo of a venomous brown snake that was caught lurking close to two unsuspecting children. He urged everyone to respect the dangerous animals, which are found throughout the Northern Territory.

Earlier, an Australian snake catcher who was bitten by a tiger snake told local radio station 3AW that he called his loved ones to say goodbye because he thought he was going to die. The man, Jamie Lind, was taken to the nearest hospital and luckily survived the close encounter.

Brown snake
File photo: Brown snake. The Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture said the victim's death was the result of a bite from a highly-venomous Western Brown snake. iStock