Man survives snake bite with Wash. zoo's antivenin

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Associated Press

Posted on March 22, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 22 at 2:03 PM

SEATTLE (AP) — A Canadian man who was bitten by a snake while vacationing in Costa Rica survived because of antivenin provided by a Seattle zoo.

Canadian and Woodland Park Zoo officials say Friday that 61-year-old Michael Lovatt of Vancouver, B.C., had not realized he'd been bitten by a viper. But when he returned home on Monday, he was ill and was diagnosed with kidney failure.

Experts determined the type of snake — a Fer-de-lance Bothrops asper — based on the symptoms.

The Canadian medical team contacted the Woodland Park Zoo and Harborview Medical Center on Tuesday and asked for help. The zoo rounded up 20 vial of the antivenin, which it keeps in case of emergencies. An air ambulance picked up the vials from Harborview.

Lovatt remains hospitalized but is fully recovering.

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