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Dog walker bitten by snake near Haslingden reservoir
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.”
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