CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - A 39-year old man is recovering after being bitten by a Monocled Cobra.
Frank Costello was cleaning the reptiles cage at a licensed exotic animal facility when the snake bit him on the hand. He was taken to Peace River Medical Center, where 12 vials of antivenin had to be flown in, from Miami-Dade County.
The Monocled Cobra is one of the most deadly snakes in the world. Since June, Sarasota Jungle Gardens has had one on display.
"Their venom actually affects your nervous system. The way it kills is shutting your nervous system down. A bite victim will die from asphyxiation. Their organs will stop functioning," said Jeremiah Nichol, the Animal Curator at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
Nichol says he feels for Costello.
"It's always sad to hear when something like that happens. I'm very concerned. It sounds like someone like me who loves to work with snakes. I always feel bad when something like that happens. It's one of the risks you take," said Nichol.
It is illegal for anyone to own a venomous reptile in the state, unless you obtain a special permit from Florida Fish and Wildlife. In order for that to happen, you must complete at least 1000 hours of training.