27th Sep 2012 9:52am | By Dan Thorne
A teen who was bitten by the world's deadliest snake, the inland taipan, is critically ill in hospital but "in a stable condition".
One drop the deadly snake's venom is said to be enough to kill 100 men. The 17-year-old from the town of Kurri Kurri, in New South Wales, north of Sydney was bitten on his left hand by the snake and rushed to Mater hospital in the city of Newcastle.
The unidentified youth was accompanied by a friend who had captured the female snake in a plastic tub to assist doctors with identification.
Police have speculated that the snake may have been an illegal pet that had escaped, as the inland taipen is not normally found in coastal regions.
'Police are now attempting to establish how the youth came to be bitten, and hope to speak to the young man once he is considered well enough.' read a statement from New South Wales police, who also noted that the snake is 'not indigenous to the area.'
A recent break in at the local Hunter Valley Zoo, Nulkaba, where thieves managed to steal four pythons and two alligators, is not said to be connected to the snake bite incident.
Toxicologist Geoff Isbister of Mater Hospital told ABC News "We had anti-venom in stock, we keep what's called polyvalent anti-venom and that covers all of our snakes. We had access to it immediately, and he was treated very early"
The venom from an inland taipen is known to kill victims within as little as 45 minutes, but it is a shy-natured snake normally found in arid desert environments.
Check out the video below of the late great Steve Irwin making friends with the world's most deadly snake.
Main image: A taipan snake (Thinkstock)