A snake-handler who was bitten by a king cobra at a West Midlands zoo is said to be in 'a comfortable and stable condition.'
Author and television presenter Mark O'Shea was flown to Worcestershire Royal Hospital from a Safari Park in Bewdley, Worcestershire after being bitten on the leg by the venomous snake.
West Midlands Ambulance Service received a call from the safari park shortly after 4pm on Sunday and sent a doctor, an ambulance crew and a responder paramedic to the scene.
Although the 56-year-old was assessed as being stable and suffering no serious effects from the bite, he was airlifted to hospital as a precaution because venom can prove lethal if it enters the bloodstream.
The safari park's head of wildlife, Bob Lawrence, said the internationally-renowned reptile expert, who lives in Shropshire, had been treated according to long-established procedures governing such incidents.
Mr Lawrence said: "It doesn't seem to have been a major problem and he is stable and comfortable.
"We have a very well-rehearsed protocol for anything involving venom and we have anti-venom on site.
"We don't know the precise details yet but obviously there will be a thorough and full investigation."
Mr Lawrence added: "It is very, very rare that these things ever happen.
"Working with animals like this always carries hazards with it, but we have safety measures in place."