TAIPAN BITES CAIRNS MAN
DAVID Pitt, 77, remained in a critical condition in Cairns Hospital last night after he was bitten twice by a coastal taipan inside his Cathy St home in Yorkey’s Knob on Tuesday just after 8pm.
His long time next door neighbour, Elaine Sandilant, said Mr Pitt had been trying to remove the highly venomous creature from his bedroom using a pair of kitchen tongs.
It is understood the taipan, one of the deadliest snakes in the world, struck between the man’s toes, hitting a vein and causing rapid injection of venom.
Cairns Snake Catcher operator Matt Hagan was called out to the same street at 3pm on Tuesday to remove a 1.5m venomous snake, believed to be the same animal, from another neighbour’s yard.
Mr Hagan spent more than an hour hunting the reptile, but could not find it.
He said he was devastated to learn yesterday that an elderly man was bitten by a taipan later that night.
“I don’t know if there’s anything else I could have done,” he said.
“I tried to be as thorough as possible trying to find it.”
Mrs Sandilant and her husband Vern, who have lived next door to Mr Pitt and his wife for more than 30 years, were comforting the family yesterday.
Mr Hagan urged anyone who spotted a snake in or around their home to contact a licenced snake catcher and leave the animal well alone until assistance arrived at the scene.