A man bitten by his pet King Cobra decided to drive himself to hospital while calling 911 and calmly explaining his situation.
Ali Iyoob of Orange County in North Carolina was bitten on his wrist by the snake on May 2. When he called 911, he said to the dispatcher in a calm voice: “Hey. I just got bit by a King Cobra and I’m on my way to the hospital.”
The dispatcher didn’t quite get the situation right away, so Iyoob explained his situation again.
The dispatcher then asked him if he intends to get to the hospital himself. He said he’d continue driving. But when asked about his condition he said: “My vision is kind of blurred. I’m sweating like crazy.”
The dispatcher then told him it would be better if he pulled over so he wouldn’t hurt himself or others (he was driving on Highway 54).
“I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not. I really want to get to the hospital as fast as I can,” he said, but agreed to pull over.
The dispatcher stayed with him on the line, gathering additional information and instructing him on what to do and what not to do (don’t stand, don’t walk, lie down, keep the bitten area below heart level, don’t apply ice, don’t eat or drink anything, including alcohol).
Iyoob pulled over at Timothy Lane, still more than 4 miles from the nearest hospital. He got out of the car and lay on the grass. It took about 6 minutes for the ambulance to reach him.
— Andrea Blanford (@AndreaABC11) May 3, 2016
As of May 4, Iyoob was still at a hospital in critical condition, according to WNCN.com. He was treated with anti-venom.
Iyoob works as a beekeeper and studied at the biology department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to his Facebook page. He’s also a member of the Reptile Rescue of the Carolinas, helping to remove dangerous or unwanted reptiles, according to a GoFundMe page set up to cover his medical expenses.
He keeps about 30 snakes, 20 of them poisonous. Authorities were working with the North Carolina Zoo and the Museum of Natural Sciences to remove and house the snakes.
It is possible Iyoob will face charges for the way he handled his snakes.
“It’s permissible in some circumstances to keep venomous and constrictive snakes but you have to meet certain requirements and the reasonable suspicions we had was that those were not being met and we’ve been able to confirm that,” Bob Marotto, director of Animal Services in Orange County, told WNCN.