Daily Mail – A British student training to be a safari guide in South Africa died less than an hour after being bitten by a black mamba snake.
Nathan Layton, 28, did not realise he had been bitten while helping to capture the reptile at the college where he and his girlfriend were studying.
But within an hour, he complained of blurred vision, collapsed and suffered a cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Shortly afterwards, however, it escaped as Mr Layton and an instructor transferred it to a glass jar so it could be shown around the college. It was while helping to recapture it that Mr Layton was bitten.
Instructor Nellie De Kock said in a statement to an inquest in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, yesterday that after helping to put the snake in the jar, Mr Layton went to a class.
He then approached her to ask if a bite from a black mamba would bleed and she told him ‘no’. When she asked if he had been bitten, he was not sure and showed her his right index finger.
She said she asked him if he was aware of any tingling in his lips, arms and toes and he replied that he wasn’t. ‘He said he did feel the snake brush against him,’ said Miss De Kock. ‘Thirty minutes into the lecture Nathan turned around and said “my vision’s going blurry”.
‘I realised immediately that he had been bitten and it took just a few seconds after that for him to collapse.’
Attempts to help him with CPR failed, and he died with his girlfriend Laura Woolley at his side.
Miss Woolley told the inquest Mr Layton feared he had been bitten, but Miss De Kock ‘had told him there was no visible bite mark so he was fine’.
She said no black mamba anti-venom was kept at the college and that the nearest supply was an hour away, but if her boyfriend had been given some, he might have survived.
‘Action should have been taken but because we were new we listened to our trainer,’ she added.
The couple left the UK in January 2008 to go on a year-long course at the college and Mr Layton, of Wing, Buckinghamshire, died on March 4.
Coroner David Morris said the inquest had been delayed because South African authorities had not provided him with information.
Recording a narrative verdict, he said Mr Layton ‘died from the effects of a black mamba snake bite’.
Holy CRAP! See what I did there? A cute and clever little nickname joke to capture the eyes of potential readers? Literally just finished writing about Kobe Bryant, The Black Mamba, when I saw this story. Fake-accusing someone of murder because of their nickname? Hysterical.
The black mamba…the snake, not Kobe… is what I fear the most on this planet… as far as animals go. Talk about deepening the legend of the black mamba snake! Not only are they already considered the deadliest creature on earth, they will kill you without you even knowing you’ve been bit. That’s scary. Literally have woken up in cold sweats dreaming about getting cornered by one of these suckers. In 2003, I spent some time in South Africa. I went to teach AIDS education in Jr. High and High Schools. (The AIDS epidemic is worse there than any country and I literally had a H.S. student say to me, “Why did you come here to teach us about sex education and AIDS? Everybody knows all you have to do is drink lemon juice after sex and you can’t get AIDS.” That’s why I went there.) Anyway, back to the black mamba.
While sitting around a campfire in Paarl, South Africa… wine country… a local friend told me about the black mamba and how feared they were. How even the most experienced hunters/fisherman/adventure-types run in fear if they see one or think they hear one. He told me about his buddy that had a huge chunk of land in Zambia, a couple countries north of South Africa. This chunk of land was used for private parties to come and hunt big game. He had a house on the property and one day, he went into the guest bedroom, looked out the window and saw a black mamba wrapped up on the window sill… outside. Startled, he stepped back and went into his bedroom to grab a shotgun. He proceeded back into the guest bedroom, looked out at the black mamba… which is, mind you, outside…separated from him by a glass window. He put on some protective goggles, stood a few feet from the window… still inside of the house… aimed, and fired a round through the window/wall at the snake, killing it. Let me paraphrase… this dude that owned a big game hunting farm, was so frightened by the black mamba that he decided it was better/safer for him to shoot a hole through his house… than it was to go outside and attempt to kill the infamous black mamba. That. Is. Crazy.
Enter Nathan Layton, a British student who wants to be a safari guide. I guess this happened back in March, but it was only recently revealed that the black mamba was the cause of death. Really sad this kid died… but man, if the tail of a black mamba somehow touched my skin… I’m running to the ER for treatment. Also, the closest anti-venom was an hour away? HE DIED IN LESS THAN AN HOUR. How the hell is anti-venom not standard issues in every single household in South Africa. Like air. You breathe air? You should have anti-venom. Hey, my vision’s blurry……. I’m dead.
Scares the crap outta me.