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Australian Reptile Park Venom Program continues to break records

Australian Reptile Park Venom Program continues to break records
January 14, 2022

The Australian Reptile Park has reported that Whiplash the Coastal Taipan has broken his own world record for extracting the most raw venom from a single yield.

The previous amount recorded was 4.5 grams - well above the average yield of 1.8 grams per milking. However, Whiplash produced an impressive 4.9 grams thus beating his own previous record. This amount of venom has the potential to kill up to 3,000 human adults. The Australian Reptile Park remains the only facility in Australia to milk venom from terrestrial snakes to make into antivenom.

Venom Supervisor, Zac Bower advises “I knew immediately the vial of venom felt much heavier than usual. A small, excited part of me thought we might have broken the record slightly, but not to the extent that we did!”

Bower adds “I would like to say I’m shocked Whiplash has managed to break his record again, but he has broken his own record about three times now and he just keeps giving more and more venom. He is the most amazing snake I’ve ever worked with and keeps me on my toes! But it’s worth it knowing he is saving so many lives!”

The Australian Reptile Park’s venom program extracts venom from five groups of Australia’s deadliest snakes including Taipans, Brown Snakes, Tiger Snakes, Death Adders and Black Snakes. Every year there are 2,000 reported snake bites in Australia, with over 300 receiving antivenom and having their lives saved by the program. Once the venom has been milked at the Australian Reptile Park, the raw venom is then sent to Seqirus in Melbourne where the venom is made into antivenom and distributed throughout Australia.

The Australian Reptile Park is also warning Australians about the likelihood of venomous snakes being out and about due to the wet, humid weather experienced over the Summer. Staff are urging Australians to revise snake bite first aid to assist in surviving a bite from a venomous snake. First aid for snake bites include keeping the bite victim calm and immobile, removing all jewellery/ watches, applying a pressure-immobilisation bandage to the bite site, then bandaging the entire limb not just the bite area) and seeking emergency medical assistance immediately by calling an ambulance or going directly to hospital.

Visitors can see Coastal Taipan’s alongside many other venomous snakes at the Australian Reptile Park in its famous Lost World of Reptiles exhibit. For those who want an up-close look at the snake milking process, they can join a daily Behind the Scenes tour where they can witness the important work the keepers undertake first hand.

The Australian Reptile Park is a hands-on zoo located the natural bush setting of the Central Coast of NSW, only 60 minutes from Sydney or Newcastle. The Australian Reptile Park is accepting the NSW Government’s Dine & Discover Vouchers until the end of June 2022. More information at www.reptilepark.com.au

Image: Venom Supervisor, Zac Bower milking Whiplash the Coastal Taipan. Credit Australian Reptile Park

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10th December 2020 - Australian Reptile Park presents Jurassic Zoo and inaugural alligator feeding encounters during Summer holidays

3rd August 2020 - Australian Reptile Park announces successful koala breeding season

16th July 2020 - Australian Reptile Park celebrates World Snake Day

9th June 2020 - Record breaking Taipan venom yield at Australian Reptile Park

3rd April 2020 - Australian Reptile Park launches new online educational initiative

4th October 2019 - Australian Reptile Park celebrates International Zookeeper Day

17th April 2019 - Spider venom record broken at the Australian Reptile Park

9th April 2019 - Australian Reptile Park saves more than 20,000 lives with antivenom program

28th January 2019 - Australian Reptile Park becomes first NSW zoo to receive an endangered numbat


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