- Bet the snake wasn’t expecting this turn of events.
Usually, when an animal bites a person, it’s not excepting to be bitten back. Otherwise, it probably wouldn’t have attacked in the first place.
But an Indian boy recently managed to turn the tables on an attacking cobra. The venomous snake bit onto the boy — so he bit it back.
Twice. And he won the tussle.
By the end of it, the snake was dead. The boy was taken to a hospital for a check-up but there was no need for it.
He didn’t suffer any harm from the snake bite. The animal hadn’t injected any venom during its attack.
Talk about getting lucky.
‘It Happened in a Flash’
The incident happened on October 31 in the remote village of Pandarpadh in western India. On the day, 8-year-old Deepak was playing in the backyard of his home.
Suddenly, he ran into an unwelcome visitor. An unidentified species of cobra had slithered into the yard.
As Deepak unknowingly disturbed the snake, it decided to attack. According to local media, the cobra lunged at Deepak and coiled itself around his arm.
Then, it sank its fangs into his hand.
“The snake got wrapped around my hand and bit me. I was in great pain,” Deepak told New Indian Express.
He tied to shake the snake off his arm, but it wouldn’t budge. So, Deepak did the only thing that seemed logical to an 8-year-old.
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a bite for a bite.
Twice, Deepak bit down hard on the snake. He must’ve hit a sensitive spot because the cobra soon dropped down dead.
“It all happened in a flash,” the boy recalled.
Once he was free of the snake, Deepak told his parents what had happened. His family rushed him to a nearby hospital for emergency care.
“He was quickly administered [snake antivenom] and kept under observation for the entire day and discharged,” said Dr. Jemps Minj, a medical officer at the hospital.
Better safe than sorry, but there wouldn’t have been any need for the antivenom. Deepak didn’t exhibit any symptoms of envenomation and went home no worse for wear.
A Rare Case
But why didn’t the snake squirt out any venom? According to Dr. Minj, this kind of snake attack is called a dry bite.
“Deepak didn’t show any symptoms and recovered fast owing to the dry bite when the [venomous] snake strikes but no venom is released,” he explained.
“Such snakebites are painful and may show only local symptoms around the area of the bite.”
Indeed, venomous snakes don’t always deliver venom to the bite victim. Most of the time they, but if you get lucky, you can get off easy.
According to LiveScience, people get bitten by snakes about 5.4 million times every year. Out of these bites, 2.7 million inject venom, causing 138,000 deaths annually.
It can be difficult to say when a bite was dry or not, though. People tend to panic and misidentify the snake that bit them, thinking it’s a venomous one when it’s not.
Additionally, even dry bites can be dangerous. They can cause serious infection, which could be mistaken for envenomation.
The most common suspected reason why snakes deliver dry bites is energy conservation. It takes a lot of work and food for a snake to produce its venom, so if it can get away with a dry warning, it’d rather not waste the stuff.
Still, Deepak was very lucky. Local journalist Ramesh Sharma, who has covered many snake bites over his career, said he’s never come across an incident like Deepak’s.
Kid vs. Snake, Round Two
Bizarrely, Deepak isn’t the only kid who has bitten back during a snake attack. Just a couple of months ago, a similar scene happened in Turkey.
On August 10, a 2-year-old girl was playing in the Turkish village of Kantar. Suddenly, the neighbors heard her screaming in her backyard.
When the neighbors came to see what was wrong, the sight that awaited them took them by surprise. The girl had a bit mark on her lower lip — and a dead 20-inch-long snake between her teeth.
She had been playing when the snake showed up. She had tried to involve the reptile in her games, but it decided to attack the girl instead.
Fortunately, it’s unlikely this snake was venomous. The girl spent 24 hours under observation at a hospital but showed no signs of envenomation.
Or maybe she was just as lucky as Deepak.