• Tue. Apr 9th, 2024

Pet Gila monster bites Colorado man, who dies in what specialists name a “uncommon occasion”

Pet Gila monster bites Colorado man, who dies in what specialists name a "uncommon occasion"

Pet Gila monster bites man, who dies in what specialists name a “uncommon occasion”

Pet Gila monster bites man, who dies in what specialists name a “uncommon occasion”


The Jefferson County coroner has confirmed {that a} 34-year-old Colorado man died this month, days after being bitten by one in every of his two pet Gila monsters.



“I feel this case highlights that any venomous animals needs to be revered,” mentioned Dr. Nick Brandehoff, a medical toxicologist and reptile skilled with the Asclepius Snakebite Basis, who was consulted on the Lakewood Gila monster case.

Gila monsters are venomous reptiles discovered within the southwestern United States. Whereas their bites may be painful, they’re usually not deadly to people. Consultants say that the final report of a human dying from a Gila monster chew was in 1930.

Gila Monster
A file photograph of a gila monster

Mark Newman/Getty Pictures

“The overwhelming majority of bites trigger native swelling and bleeding,” mentioned Brandehoff, who mentioned the bites could cause intense localized ache and might trigger victims to cross out. However deaths are exceedingly uncommon.

“The final case I’ve been capable of finding,” mentioned Brandehoff, “was 1930 and that was not even a medical journal case.”

Based on a number of specialists concerned within the Lakewood case, the person — who has not been recognized — owned two pet Gila monsters and was bitten by one in every of them on Feb. 12. It was a juvenile and about 12 inches lengthy. The proprietor was hospitalized and died the Friday main into the Presidents Day vacation weekend — 4 days after the animal bit him.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Workplace confirmed the loss of life, saying an post-mortem was carried out on the chew sufferer however the exact reason for loss of life will not be recognized till further toxicology testing is accomplished.

Eric Harper, a legal investigator with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, mentioned CPW was requested to take away the Gila monsters from the house after the chew. He informed CBS Information Colorado it’s unlawful to personal Gila monsters in Colorado and not using a license. Harper mentioned the sufferer additionally owned tarantulas which aren’t unlawful to personal.

Harper mentioned the Lakewood incident could also be an anomaly, but it surely reveals “venomous reptiles are hazardous and may solely be dealt with or possessed by folks with the right coaching.”

Harper and Brandehoff each mentioned the reptile that bit its proprietor will likely be transported this week to a lab in Greeley on the College of Northern Colorado, the place its venom will likely be extracted and studied to deliver a higher understanding as to why its chew led to its proprietor’s loss of life.

Brandehoff mentioned specialists will “take a look at the venom parts and see if there’s some motive this would possibly happen.” He mentioned whereas it is early within the investigation, he suspects the sufferer might have suffered some sort of allergic response to the Gila monster’s venom.

The Lakewood Police Division says the 2 Gila monsters had been faraway from the sufferer’s residence and brought to a wildlife rehab heart in one other state.

Extra from CBS Information

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