Hiker Bitten by Deadly Snake Rescued From Remote Gorge

A woman bitten by one of Australia's deadliest snakes was airlifted to a hospital following an arduous rescue operation that took several hours.

The unnamed 27-year-old, reported to be from the Perth metro area, was bitten by the venomous mulga, also known as the king brown snake, during a hike in Western Australia's Karijini National Park.

The incident took place at around 3 p.m. local time Sunday while she was hiking with friends at the Dales Gorge in the park's remote Fortescue Falls area, Australia's 7NEWS reported.

The rescue operation took several hours to locate the woman who was stranded in Western Australia's second largest national park, which spans 627,422 hectares (nearly 2,500 square miles). She was located in an area with very patchy cell phone reception about 62 miles from the nearest town.

Darkness had fallen by the time first responders were able to secure her on a stretcher to lift her out of the gorge and transfer her to an ambulance at the top.

The woman—seen with a heavily bandaged leg after being administered first aid, according to rescue footage—was reported to be in good spirits during the rescue.

The patient was initially treated at Tom Price District Hospital and later flown to South Hedland Health Campus for additional treatment. She was reported to be in stable condition.

The rescue involved officers from Western Australia's Tom Price Police as well as officials from the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the St John Ambulance paramedics and Karijini National Park rangers.

Growing to nearly 10 feet, the mulga is Australia's largest venomous snake and one of the world's longest.

They are found over most of mainland Australia but not in the southern coastal regions and Tasmania. The species has declined or disappeared from some of Queensland's coastal areas.

Australia's Queensland Museum says: "This is a dangerously venomous species with strongly haemotoxic venom. It is a ready biter and has been responsible for human deaths."

While venomous snakes are known to only attack humans when disturbed, mulga snakes have "been noted to bite people who were asleep at the time," warns the website of the Alice Springs Desert Park in the Northern Territory.

Australia is home to around 140 species of land snakes and 32 recorded species of sea snakes.

Around 100 Australian snakes are venomous but "only 12 are likely to inflict a wound that could kill you," advises the New South Wales (NWS) Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

"The most dangerous snakes belong to the front-fanged group, which in NSW include the tiger snake, brown snake, death adder, mulga or king brown snake and a few species of sea snake," the department says.

Mulga snake at Australian Reptile Park 2004
A pygmy mulga snake (Pseudechis weigeli) of Western Australia's Kimberley region displayed at the Australian Reptile Park near Sydney in October 2004. A woman was rescued from a gorge after being bitten by a mulga snake on Sunday in a remote part of Karijini National Park. Torsten Blackwood/AFP via Getty Images