Winter Park man bitten by viper; FWC investigating

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers are investigating a snake bite in Winter Park. They said an elderly man was taken to the hospital, after being bitten inside his own home on Temple Drive.  FWC said the man was the owner of the snake and that there were several other caged reptiles inside the home.  “A gentleman had gotten bitten at his house by a Gaboon viper that he had,” said Steve McDaniel, FWC spokesman. “Hopefully it’s a quick recovery, and we got the anti-venom to him in time.”

According to McDaniel, the retired science teacher has several snakes, including two Gaboon vipers.  He added, “probably has enough venom to kill enough people. One of my investigators at the hospital says he’s surrounded by nurses.”  

McDaniel said the man has the proper permits to own the snakes and calls this a simple keeper mishap. “It wasn’t as if the snake had gotten out and bitten him.  From my understanding, he was bit on the hand. I don’t know which one.” McDaniel said the owner has approximately ten snakes in cages and has always been responsible with them. “It’s a hobby. He’s had them for many, many years. I’ve known him for many years -- over 20 -- and he’s always had animals, and this is the first bite that I know of, so pretty good track record.”

Investigators have not released the name of the owner or his condition.