Man Wakes Up 'In Agony' After Getting Bitten by Snake, As Creatures Awake From Brumation

A man in Australia has told how he "woke up in agony" and realized he had been bitten by a snake.

Peter Jaszewski, from the south coast of New South Wales, told the Bay Post-Moruya Examiner how he had spotted a snake on his property and thought he had shooed it away. However, on entering his home he found it underfoot.

"I panicked and gave a big yell as I lifted my leg up," he told the news website. "The snake was like a bit of chewing gum stuck to my foot. It was frightening."

Jaszewski did not realize he had been bitten and went to bed. "In the morning I woke up in agony and didn't know what was wrong," he told the website. "My left arm was so swollen. I didn't feel too bad, but my arm was killing me."

Twenty of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world are found in Australia. A report published by the Australian Government earlier this year showed that between 2017 and 2018, over 600 people were hospitalized as a result of snake bites. Brown snakes were responsible for 215 of these. Seven people died as a result of venomous snake bites, the report found.

Jaszewski was admitted to hospital and is recovering. He said he did not know what species of snake bit him, but he believes it was a red-bellied black snake. This species grows to between 5 and 6.5 feet in length. They are found on the east coast of Australia, with populations in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

No human fatalities have ever been recorded from a red-bellied black snake bite, although envenomation can result in severe muscle weakness. People can be treated using tiger snake antivenom.

Summer in Australia starts in December, and as the warmer months approach, many snakes are starting to emerge from brumation—a state of inactivity during stretches of cold temperatures. Snakes are most active in Australia between October and March.

Snakes are protected under Australian law. The Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate says that they are naturally shy and only tend to strike at humans if they are provoked or cornered. To avoid being bitten, it recommends moving away from a snake, never attempting to handle or kill it and to be alert at all times in the bush, taking precautions such as wearing long trousers and enclosed shoes.

"You know they're there, so be very aware," Jaszewski said.

red bellied black snake
Stock photo of a red-bellied black snake. Getty Images