Authorities said this cobra at a house north of Houston bit its owner, who was flown to a St. Louis hospital with critical injuries. The man has since been released.

HOUSTON, Mo. — A Houston man bitten by a cobra has been released from a St. Louis hospital, according to Lt. Melissa Dunn of the Texas County Sheriff’s Department.

Dunn said the man, who was bitten on the finger last week by one of the many exotic snakes he keeps in a room inside his house, is currently returning home with his wife.


HOUSTON, Mo. — A Houston man remains in critical condition in a St. Louis hospital after being bitten last week by a cobra inside his home.

Lt. Melissa Dunn of the Texas County Sheriff’s Department said the man collects exotic snakes, including, two boa constrictors, three rattlesnakes and two cobras, at his home near Twin Bridges.

“He got one out to play with it, for lack of a better term, when it bit him in the finger,” Dunn said.

Dunn said the man was taken to Texas County Memorial Hospital before being flown to St. Louis, where anti-venom was available. Dunn said the man, who with his wife recently moved to Houston from out of state, appeared to be very knowledgeable about the snakes and told rescue workers he must be treated in two hours.

Authorities have not been able to determine how the man gained possession of the snakes. Dunn said they have only spoken briefly with the wife, who remains at her husband’s bedside.

Dunn said state law requires the man to tell local authorities he possessed the snakes. Dunn said he had not.

The mother of the wife let authorities inside the home after the bite, Dunn said. She said the snakes were kept in a separate, locked room. Each snake was inside its own locked cage — some glass, others Dunn describe as “big drawers.”

Dunn said authorities continue to check the snakes to confirm they are confined inside the cages. She said the snakes would ultimately be disposed of or sold.

Cited privacy concerns, Dunn and TCMH officials declined to identify the man.



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