Snake Bites Toddler and 2-Year-Old Keeps Biting Back Until Snake Dies
The toddler was attacked by a 20-inch snake.
A two-year-old girl in Turkey killed a snake by biting it to death, after the snake reportedly attacked her lip. The incident happened in the village of Kantar, near Bingol, a city in Eastern Turkey. Here's what happened to the toddler—and the snake.
According to the little girl's father Mehmet Ercan, she was playing with the snake when it attacked her—and she responded in kind. "Our neighbors have told me that the snake was in the hand of my child, she was playing with it and then it bit her," Ercan said. "Then she has bitten the snake back as a reaction." Ercan was reportedly at work when the attack happened. There is no information about whether playing with snakes was something the toddler had done before, or if this was a one-off.
According to media reports, the neighbors heard Ercan's daughter in distress and found her with a bite mark on her lip—and the 20-inch snake still between her teeth. News reports say the snake died later, which means it must have been still alive while in the toddler's mouth. She was taken to hospital for treatment and observation, but was for the most part unharmed from the snake attack. Which is astonishing, considering the little girl was just two years old.
Snake bites can be serious for children, and even a bite from a non-venomous snake can result in an infection or allergic reaction. "In most bites, either the child doesn't see the snake and accidentally steps on it, or the child is curious and tries to handle the snake," says Sing-Yi Feng, MD, FAAP, Emergency Medicine Physician at Children's Health and Associate Professor at UT Southwestern. "Snakes generally are afraid of humans and use biting as a defense mechanism. You should try not to disturb their habitat to avoid bites."
Approximately 1,300 children are bitten by snakes every year in the US, with one third of all bites taking place in June and July. A five-year-old Texas boy called Daniel was bitten by a venomous copperhead snake in June 2022, while picking up leaves with his uncle. "I was running errands and they called me to meet them," the boy's aunt Brandy Smith told McClatchy News. Daniel was rushed to hospital and treated with antivenom before being released. "I've truly never been so scared in my life," Smith said. "His range of motion and labs are good so we get to go home later today."
Experts recommend calling 911 or going to the ER immediately if you are bitten by a snake. "In order to provide the best treatment, we ask patients for a description of the snake," says Sam S. Torbati, MD. "Try to remember the size, color, and shape of the snake. A photo taken at a safe distance will also help. Even though not all snakebites are toxic, it's best to receive a proper medical evaluation sooner than later."