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Another reason to leave the toilet seat down: Dutch man undergoes surgery after cobra bites his penis while on trip to SA

File photo: you can die from paralysis of the heart and lungs very quickly after being bitten by a cobra. Picture: EPA

File photo: you can die from paralysis of the heart and lungs very quickly after being bitten by a cobra. Picture: EPA

Published Nov 11, 2021

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When you hear stories of animals gone wild, you’d normally associate it with the Australian Outback.

But South Africa, known for its exotic variety of snakes, especially during mating season, has made it onto that list.

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If you’re the squeamish kind, best you stop reading now...

A Dutch man has undergone reconstructive surgery on his penis after a cobra bit his precious jewels during a safari trip, the New York Post reported.

Although the report did not mention where in SA the incident occurred, the 47-year-old victim reportedly had to wait three hours before he was flown by helicopter to the nearest trauma centre about 350km away.

According to Urology Case Reports, the unidentified man suffered scrotal necrosis after a cobra, which was lurking in the toilet bowl, attacked him.

The medical journal described it as the first case of “snouted cobra envenomation of the genitals”.

Shortly after the bite, the man experienced vomiting and a burning sensation, as well as pain that shot up from his groin into the abdomen and upper chest, the report said.

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“His penis and scrotum were noted to be swollen, deep purple in colour, and painful on hospital admission,” the medical report stated.

“Scrotal necrosis was diagnosed, and he received multiple doses of a non-specific snake venom antiserum and broad-spectrum antibiotics.”

After nine days, the patient was flown back to the Netherlands where a plastic surgeon performed a “penile shaft debridement” with a graft from the groin placed over the penis.

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He has made a full recovery.

According to my.clevelandclinic.org, you can die from paralysis of the heart and lungs very quickly after being bitten by a cobra.

The typical symptoms of venomous snake bite include two puncture wounds, swelling and pain around the bite area, redness and bruising around the bite area.

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