Toddler stable after bitten by snake at Warana park

AN 18-MONTH-OLD boy was taken to hospital for observation after a suspected snakebite at a beachside park.

The toddler was reported to have been bitten by a "black snake" just after 2pm yesterday at Wyanda Park, in Oceanic Drive at Warana.

It was unclear whether the youngster had been playing on play equipment, or where exactly the attack took place, but a QAS media spokeswoman confirmed ambulance officers had treated the little boy for puncture marks on his foot.

He was transported to Nambour General Hospital in a stable condition, where he remained under observation as of late last night.

Initial reports were that a nearby lifeguard had treated the child immediately following the bite, however that could not be confirmed by QAS media.

RELATED: 18-month-old boy bitten by black snake Sunshine Coast park

The alleged snakebite followed a busy past three months for the RACQ CareFlight Rescue Helicopter, which had airlifted nine snakebite victims, the latest, on December 22, was a woman in her 70s bitten while in her kitchen.

While yesterday's incident at Warana was cause for some alarm, Sunshine Coast snake catcher Richie Gilbert said it was not uncommon for snakes to look at structures like playgrounds and park areas to rest or take shelter in. "Houses, playgrounds, anything close to bush is open slather for snakes," Mr Gilbert said.

"They don't distinguish whether it's a playground or if there's small children playing."

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Mr Gilbert was unwilling to speculate on what sort of snake was responsible for yesterday's bite without identifying it, but said there were a number of species that were more common in coastal-urban stretches like Warana.

"It could be a common tree snake which could be black, or a red-bellied black snake but even eastern browns can appear black," Mr Gilbert said.

"The most common in and around that beach would be tree snakes... but carpet pythons, common tree snakes, eastern browns and yellow-faced whip snakes are all common species there too."

Mr Gilbert did mention that he did not believe a tree snake was responsible if two, distinct puncture marks were present after the bite, as the puncture marks did not match a tree snake's bite pattern.

A Nambour General Hospital spokeswoman last night confirmed the toddler remained in a stable condition and was being kept for observation, but could not confirm the type of snake believed responsible for the bite.


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