Snake Catcher Hospitalized by Own Pet Snake After 'Worst Bite on Record to be Survived'

A snake catcher has vowed never to keep venomous snakes again after nearly losing his life when he was bitten by his pet.

Ben Avery, the man behind Bayside Snake Catchers, a company that offers snake removal services in Queensland, Australia, was bitten on his left thumb by his eastern tiger snake as he was feeding it earlier this month.

Within minutes, Avery started vomiting and began to fall in and out of consciousness.

His kidneys subsequently shut down, and four blood transfusions were required to save his life.

Avery, who has described his ordeal on Facebook, said he pulled the snake off his thumb "about half a second" after it bit him, and he was tended to immediately by his wife, while speaking to medics on the phone.

"I kept 100% calm and lay on the lounge as per all the many courses and research I had done over the past 6 of 7 years learning about venomous snake bite. The first aid was 100% to the letter!" Avery wrote.

"I had been told by many people, snake people who had been bitten and kept snakes, videos, first aid courses... simple... do the first aid, you've got time, get to hospital. No drama. Not in this case."

Avery said his arm "felt like it was in a vice. Worst pain of my life," and that he was "touch and go" at the hospital.

"My kidneys shut down and pretty much melted from the venom. My platelets dropped so low I was bleeding like a stuck pig and in the end I needed 4 blood transfusions. Not to mention I'll still be on kidney dialysis for a few weeks to come," he said.

"The toxicology team at the PA hospital said it was the worst bite on record to be survived."

Tiger snakes are highly venomous and easy to recognize by their characteristic stripes.

They grow to around 2 meters (over 6.5 feet) in length and feed on a wide array of small animals, such as birds, fish, frogs and rodents. However, their venom is capable of killing much larger animals, including humans.

"The snake's large size, often aggressive defence and toxic venom make it extremely dangerous to humans," the Australian Museum writes.

Avery thanked his wife and medics from the Queensland Ambulance Service, Redland Hospital and Princess Alexandra Hospital.

"I won't be keeping venomous snakes anymore, I can't risk putting my family and friends through that again," he added.

A tiger snake preparing to defend itself
A stock image shows a tiger snake, the same type that bit Ben Avery. The snake catcher described the injury as "the worst pain of my life." iStock