Python Severs Man's Artery with Bite 'Beyond Imagined Capabilities'

A man who was attacked by a coastal carpet python, slicing through an artery and multiple nerves in his arm, said the bite was "beyond imagined capabilities" of the snake.

Kane Durrant, a snake catcher and wildlife conservationist at WILD Conservation in New South Wales, Australia, was bitten by the snake late last year as he was releasing it into the bush after a road rescue. The snake sank its teeth into his wrist, leaving him with two huge gashes on either side of his arm.

"It felt like a knife tearing out my wrist and the severed nerve gave a hot burning sensation," Durrant told Newsweek. "The blood spurted nearly six foot from my artery and it was a pretty confronting situation."

Picture of Kane Durrant's wrist after he was operated on (left) and stock image of a snake baring its teeth (right). iStock / Getty Images Plus / Kane Durrant of WILD Conservation

Carpet pythons are found throughout Australia and New Guinea, and usually grow to between 6.6 and 13.1 feet in length. They are commonly kept as pets because they are not venomous, and rarely bite unless provoked.

However, they can cause a large amount of damage if they do bite, as they have 80 backward facing teeth that are designed to prevent prey from escaping, causing tearing lacerations as they hook into flesh.

carpet python
Stock image of a carpet python. Kane Durrant was attacked and injured by a carpet python he was releasing. iStock / Getty Images Plus

"Once the snake was removed from my arm, I released it into the bush before administering first aid to myself," Durrant said.

According to a post on Instagram by Durrant, the bite left him "injured beyond imagined capabilities of this species." Durrant's injuries required emergency surgery to fix.

Afterwards he shared pictures of his grisly injuries on social media, as well as a video discussing his experience and recovery. Scars are still visible even a year after the attack.

Even now, he still doesn't have full feeling back into his wrist, and has visible scarring where the bites occurred.

"Recovery was reasonably fast and defied expectations," he told Newsweek. "I was back at work 48 hours later, though in a sling and cast. I went through a rehabilitative period of physio and rest and still have lasting nerve pain/pins and needles."

According to the World Health Organization, there are around 5.4 million snake bites worldwide each year, about 3,000 of which occur in Australia.

"There's some lasting internal damage around the radial nerve and artery but I can still do what I love and advocate for wildlife conservation through our ongoing projects," Durrant wrote in a post on Facebook.

According to Medical News Today, despite not containing venom, bites from non-venomous snakes like carpet pythons can lead to skin infections and necrosis, or tissue death, if left untreated.