Dog walker bitten by snake near Haslingden reservoir

Lancashire Telegraph: RECOVERING Sarah Bowker in hospital RECOVERING Sarah Bowker in hospital

A DOG walker was rushed to hospital after being bitten by a poisonous snake.

Sarah Bowker, 29, was walking near Calf Hey reservoir, in Haslingden, when she was attacked by the adder.

Her arm tripled in size, she struggled to breathe and after being taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital by ambulance, she suffered anaphylactic shock.

Doctors and nurses were baffled as to how to treat her and had to get special anti-venom sent to them.

Sarah, who has travelled through the Amazon jungle, trekked across Peru and let a boa constrictor coil around her neck in Thailand, is now recovering at home in Haslingden.

But she said she will never walk round the reservoir again and is calling for signs to be put up from land owners United Utilities.

Sarah said: “I still can’t get over that after all the dangerous places I have been in the world it was a snake in Haslingden that nearly killed me.

“It was about dinnertime and it was really hot. I was walking around with my German Shepherd Arwen and let him have a run around like I usually do and I sat down.

“The grass was reedy and all different lengths. I put my hand out and I felt a sharp sting on my arm, like when you have an injection. I looked down and there was an adder sliding off through the grass.

“I was pretty shocked but decided to take some photos and a film in case it wasn’t a grass snake and I’d need to identify it.

“Within minutes my arm started to swell and I knew it wasn't a grass snake so I rang for an ambulance.”

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “We are very sorry to hear about Sarah’s accident.

“Thankfully, adder bites are extremely rare and only occur when the snake is surprised or disturbed, so Sarah was exceptionally unlucky and we do wish her a speedy recovery.

“Because of the very low risk to the public, we have not installed warning signs.”

Wildlife expert Ron Freethy said although it was unusual for adders to attack humans, it was not unheard of.

He said: “The only poisonous snakes we have are adders and the way to recognise them is that they have a diamond pattern on their backs.

“My advice is if you see a snake at all, leave it alone.”

Comments (14)

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6:11pm Fri 10 May 13

Helmshore_Blue says...

I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years. Helmshore_Blue

6:47pm Fri 10 May 13

East_lancs_lad says...

"Doctors and nurses were baffled as to how to treat her "........that does not surprise me with the Royal Blackburn
"Doctors and nurses were baffled as to how to treat her "........that does not surprise me with the Royal Blackburn East_lancs_lad

8:16pm Fri 10 May 13

bingoman1 says...

well at least she is LAUGHING about it.
well at least she is LAUGHING about it. bingoman1

9:22pm Fri 10 May 13

icannotrace says...

Helmshore_Blue wrote:
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?
[quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes? icannotrace

10:04pm Fri 10 May 13

robinjevansbnp says...

Helmshore_Blue wrote:
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
Most snakes will only strike out in defence.That's what happened here. For a well seasoned traveller not to look prior to sitting down.... I wonder did she need 'signs' on her trips to the jungle ? It's a simple case of complacency.
[quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]Most snakes will only strike out in defence.That's what happened here. For a well seasoned traveller not to look prior to sitting down.... I wonder did she need 'signs' on her trips to the jungle ? It's a simple case of complacency. robinjevansbnp

11:02pm Fri 10 May 13

Jerzei Balowski says...

icannotrace wrote:
Helmshore_Blue wrote:
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?
In fact wasp stings kill far more people in the UK through anaphylactic shock than adders - should we have warning signs anywhere there is a wasp nest ?!
[quote][p][bold]icannotrace[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?[/p][/quote]In fact wasp stings kill far more people in the UK through anaphylactic shock than adders - should we have warning signs anywhere there is a wasp nest ?! Jerzei Balowski

12:53am Sat 11 May 13

useyourhead says...

Jerzei Balowski wrote:
icannotrace wrote:
Helmshore_Blue wrote:
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?
In fact wasp stings kill far more people in the UK through anaphylactic shock than adders - should we have warning signs anywhere there is a wasp nest ?!
I'm starting a sign making business, I think it's the way to go, if you wish to protest against signs I will also be doing a 'ban the sign' sign range. ker-ching!!!
[quote][p][bold]Jerzei Balowski[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]icannotrace[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?[/p][/quote]In fact wasp stings kill far more people in the UK through anaphylactic shock than adders - should we have warning signs anywhere there is a wasp nest ?![/p][/quote]I'm starting a sign making business, I think it's the way to go, if you wish to protest against signs I will also be doing a 'ban the sign' sign range. ker-ching!!! useyourhead

4:49am Sat 11 May 13

GAC says...

if she had that bad of a reaction to a adder bite, maybe she should get tested for allergies as it sounds like she'd have the same reaction to bee or wasp stings.

as for signs it defeats the object of trying to protect adders in the north if your now going to tell people where they are.
if she had that bad of a reaction to a adder bite, maybe she should get tested for allergies as it sounds like she'd have the same reaction to bee or wasp stings. as for signs it defeats the object of trying to protect adders in the north if your now going to tell people where they are. GAC

12:29pm Sat 11 May 13

Accy Pal says...

POISONOUS does not mean VENOMOUS. I think it unlikely that the snake was in fact POISONOUS given that there are only ONE snake I know of that is POISONOUS. Rhabdophis is a genus of snakes, generally called keelback snakes, found primarily in southeast Asia. While the term "poisonous snake" is an often used misnomer for a wide variety of venomous snakes, some species of Rhabdophis are in fact poisonous. While both venom and poison are toxins, a venom requires direct delivery - for instance intravenously through a snake bite - but can be ingested without harm. A poison can also be absorbed indirectly, e.g. by touch or through the digestive system.
POISONOUS does not mean VENOMOUS. I think it unlikely that the snake was in fact POISONOUS given that there are only ONE snake I know of that is POISONOUS. Rhabdophis is a genus of snakes, generally called keelback snakes, found primarily in southeast Asia. While the term "poisonous snake" is an often used misnomer for a wide variety of venomous snakes, some species of Rhabdophis are in fact poisonous. While both venom and poison are toxins, a venom requires direct delivery - for instance intravenously through a snake bite - but can be ingested without harm. A poison can also be absorbed indirectly, e.g. by touch or through the digestive system. Accy Pal

12:31pm Sat 11 May 13

Accy Pal says...

The snake wasn't POISONOUS, but it may have been VENOMOUS. (Editor) Rhabdophis is a genus of snakes, generally called keelback snakes, found primarily in southeast Asia. While the term "poisonous snake" is an often used misnomer for a wide variety of venomous snakes, some species of Rhabdophis are in fact poisonous. While both venom and poison are toxins, a venom requires direct delivery - for instance intravenously through a snake bite - but can be ingested without harm. A poison can also be absorbed indirectly, e.g. by touch or through the digestive system.[citation
The snake wasn't POISONOUS, but it may have been VENOMOUS. (Editor) Rhabdophis is a genus of snakes, generally called keelback snakes, found primarily in southeast Asia. While the term "poisonous snake" is an often used misnomer for a wide variety of venomous snakes, some species of Rhabdophis are in fact poisonous. While both venom and poison are toxins, a venom requires direct delivery - for instance intravenously through a snake bite - but can be ingested without harm. A poison can also be absorbed indirectly, e.g. by touch or through the digestive system.[citation Accy Pal

2:56am Sun 12 May 13

globetrot says...

icannotrace wrote:
Helmshore_Blue wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?
Well, actually if snakes are known to be in public places over here in Aus, signs are put up.
Words of advice, never get or stand between snake and water.
[quote][p][bold]icannotrace[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]Enough of the OHS stuff. Where will it end. Do you think in Australia they have signs in all gardens warning of red back spiders & brown snakes?[/p][/quote]Well, actually if snakes are known to be in public places over here in Aus, signs are put up. Words of advice, never get or stand between snake and water. globetrot

7:31am Sun 12 May 13

jack daniels says...

Helmshore_Blue wrote:
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
It's a good idea mainly because we have got complacent about the threat of potentially dangerous wildlife.
[quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]It's a good idea mainly because we have got complacent about the threat of potentially dangerous wildlife. jack daniels

9:47am Sun 12 May 13

drunken donut says...

jack daniels wrote:
Helmshore_Blue wrote:
I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.
It's a good idea mainly because we have got complacent about the threat of potentially dangerous wildlife.
What a lad of Bo££ocks, there are Adders all over the country what do you want? Maybe a sign at John'Ogroats saying beware Adders between the signs, and one at Landsend the same. My dog was bitten by one last year in the Ribble Valley, it's one of those things grow up.
[quote][p][bold]jack daniels[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Helmshore_Blue[/bold] wrote: I've been saying for ages that they should erect signs around Calf Hey reservoir warning people about the presence of adders. People need to know that these snakes are widespread around that area and have been for a number of years.[/p][/quote]It's a good idea mainly because we have got complacent about the threat of potentially dangerous wildlife.[/p][/quote]What a lad of Bo££ocks, there are Adders all over the country what do you want? Maybe a sign at John'Ogroats saying beware Adders between the signs, and one at Landsend the same. My dog was bitten by one last year in the Ribble Valley, it's one of those things grow up. drunken donut

3:54pm Mon 13 May 13

35yearSurrenderMonkeys says...

I'm glad this incident has stopped her letting her dog off its lead to empty its innards so close to a drinking water res. Dog owners should be banned from such practices. Think about it next time you turn the tap on. So alls well that ends well.
I'm glad this incident has stopped her letting her dog off its lead to empty its innards so close to a drinking water res. Dog owners should be banned from such practices. Think about it next time you turn the tap on. So alls well that ends well. 35yearSurrenderMonkeys

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