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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 May 2007, 19:32 GMT 20:32 UK
Adder bites girl twice in garden
Adder caught by Chris Allday
Chris Allday caught the adder and took it to the hospital
A 12-year-old girl from Cornwall is recovering after being bitten twice on the foot by an adder in the garden of her family home.

Elizabeth Allday, from Newquay, was treated in hospital after being bitten as she played with friends.

The adder - or common viper - is Britain's only venomous reptile.

Elizabeth's father, Chris, caught the snake and took it to the Royal Cornwall Hospital to make sure medics knew exactly what they were dealing with.

Mr Allday found some rubber gloves and a bin and managed to get the snake into the box.

'Pin pricks'

"I needed to get the snake because I didn't know if my daughter's life was in danger," he said.

"I never thought of my own safety really. I put the bin in front of the snake and it reared up so I put my hand behind it and flicked it into the bin, then I put it in a sealed container with some air holes."

Elizabeth told BBC News she did not realise immediately what had happened.

"I just felt something really sharp sinking into me as when I looked down I saw these four pin pricks and they were bleeding a bit," she said.

"Then I looked over and saw the snake slither away and that's when I realised I'd been bitten by a snake."

Elizabeth Allday's swollen foot
Elizabeth's foot is still very swollen

Elizabeth was transferred by ambulance from Newquay Hospital to the Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro.

She was slipping in and out of consciousness and her mother, Teresa, said she was worried.

"Her blood pressure had fallen, the machines were showing her respiration wasn't good and her temperature dropped so badly. Her skin came up in goose bumps and they couldn't get her warmed up."

Elizabeth was treated with morphine and antibiotics and spent three days in hospital.

It is thought the adder may have come from a nearby compost heap and was attracted to the warmth of the drive.

The RSPCA said the recent good weather had led to an increase in phone calls about snakes.

A spokesperson said adders are a protected species and it is illegal to injure or kill them, so they should be left alone.

Mr and Mrs Allday said they were relieved their daughter did not come to more serious harm, although her foot is still very swollen following the incident two weeks ago.

Elizabeth Allday describes her injuries

Snake bites sleeping woman in bed
17 Nov 06 |  Lancashire
Adders face threat from walkers
07 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire


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