Shock as family takes snake's 'body' to morgue

Kakamega, Kenya: There was a freaky moment at a morgue in Kakamega after a snake that was killed after biting a boy at Iloro village in Shinyalu was taken there.

The family whose kin was bitten by the snake took a medic's advice literally and presented the dead serpent to Kakamega County General hospital's mortuary instead of presenting it to a medical officer for examination.

It is medically advisable to know the type of snake after a bite. And where it is not possible to tell the species, one is advised to kill and carry it to hospital so that medics can look at it for diagnosis to determine right treatment.

The snake bit 13-year-old Collins Shitambasi on Monday evening while he was grazing cattle.

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Grace Masika, a nurse attending to Collins, said the viper measuring one-and-a-half metres was among the most dangerous species in the world.

"Collins came in on Tuesday morning after a snake bite infection and was in critical condition. It was procedural to bring the snake which bit him for medical tests so that we could establish the kind of poison it emitted for appropriate treatment," said the nurse-in-charge of ward six at Kakamega County General hospital.

Collins's relatives brought the snake's 'body' to the morgue where they believed it belongs.

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Morgue attendants were shocked as they had never received such a 'body' at the morgue.

"Hapa hatuhifadhi nyoka bali ni miili ya binadamu (We don't preserve snakes here but human bodies)," one of them said.

SEE ALSO :Hope for long-suffering victims of lethal snakes

But the relatives were adamant that that all dead bodies are taken to the morgue.

Clinical officers and student nurses, who were following the incident, managed to convince them that the snake would be of much benefit to the medics attending to Collins.

The Standard Three pupil at Iloro Primary in Shinyalu was returning cattle his grandfather's cattle home when he encountered the slithering reptile, which bit him.

Kenya Wildlife Service warden Kilodi Ndorosi asked the residents living around Kakamega forest to exercise caution while grazing since the forest has dangerous and highly poisonous snakes.

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snake Kakamega Shinyalu