Woman hospitalized after bite from pet forest cobra

SKIPPACK — A woman bitten by her family’s cobra was rushed to Pottstown Memorial Medical Center Sunday morning.

Some time before 10:45 a.m., the woman was handling her family’s forest cobra when it bit her.

“It didn’t get loose,” said Dan Greco, Chief of Skippack Ambulance. “It bit her and she threw it back into the tank.”

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Medical crews responded but it was not immediately clear whether or not he the injury required more specialized care. As such, a medical evacuation helicopter was put on standby.

Forest cobras are venomous, according to a toxicology page on the University of California-San Diego’s website, and the venom from their bites can prove fatal. Bites must be fully treated within half-an-hour or 120 minutes.

Ultimately, it was decided that the victim could be treated locally and she was driven via a Skippack ambulance to Pottstown.

“She seems to be okay,” Greco said. “We got her to the hospital and she was doing well.”

Indigenous to central and south Africa, the forest cobra is sometimes called the black forest cobra, according to the Philadelphia Zoo. In the wild, they can grow up to eight feet long and feed on small mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno