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Australian reptile venom program sees Coastal Taipan break world record

Australian reptile venom program sees Coastal Taipan break world record
March 17, 2021

The extraction of venom from a Coastal Taipan at the Australian Reptile Park has broken the world record for extracting the most raw venom from a single yield.

The Australian Reptile Park is renowned for its incredibly dangerous and deadly venom program, in which keepers take on the dangerous task of milking venomous snakes to save thousands of lives across the country - up to 50,000 lives have been saved since the introduction of the program.

 Venom Supervisor, Zac Bower was extremely surprised to have found Whiplash the Coastal Taipan had his record absolutely decimated by fellow Coastal Taipan, Cyclone.

The previous amount recorded by Whiplash was 3.32 grams which is enough to kill over 300 humans and well above the average yield of 1.8 grams per milking. However, Cyclone produced a massive 4.54 grams thus beating the previous record.

Bower shares “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.

“I would like to say I’m shocked Cyclone has managed to break Whiplash's undefeated record, but he just keeps giving us more and more venom each time. 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.

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. More information at www.reptilepark.com.au

Image courtesy of Australian Reptile Park

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