SOUTH-WEST snake handler Scott Grant is keen to get back to what he loves best — working with reptiles — after being bitten by the world’s most venomous serpent.
Mr Grant will be released from Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) this week after surviving a bite from an inland taipan on Monday.
Mr Grant, who runs West Vic Reptiles, was airlifted to RMH after being bitten on the thumb by the snake during a snake-handling demonstration at a building unions’ Christmas picnic in Portland.
A RMH spokeswoman said Mr Grant was in a stable condition yesterday.
Australian Manufacturing Union (AMU) south-west organiser Mark Solly said he had been told Mr Grant hoped to be released from hospital either yesterday or today.
Mr Grant’s partner had said the snake handler was keen to get “back on the job straight away”, Mr Solly said.
Mr Solly, who was at the picnic, said he had been told Mr Grant began convulsing only minutes after being bitten.
Monday’s incident was not the first time Mr Grant has been bitten by a snake. A tiger snake bite four years ago on a property near Timboon inflicted much more harm, he said.
Four units of antivenom and a week in intensive care got him through that brush with death.
Tests on Mr Grant on Monday indicated he had absorbed only a minute amount of the taipan’s venom through his skin rather than through a puncture wound, Mr Solly said.
“He was lucky,” he said.
He said Mr Grant had been putting the taipan into a bag when it reared up and grabbed him on the thumb.
Mr Grant had been very professional in the incident, calmly telling people he thought he had been bitten before tying up the snake bag, Mr Solly said.
He had then got into his utility and tied a bandage around his arm.
However a few minutes later he was lying on the ground and convulsing.
“He was not in a good way,” Mr Solly said.
“It had a nasty effect quickly,” he said
A St John Ambulance officer attended to Mr Grant before an ambulance rushed him to hospital.
Inland taipans have the most toxic venom in the world but are not considered aggressive snakes.
Mr Solly said Mr Grant’s partner was called to collect the snakes and other reptiles that had been on display in a pit.