The adder was being milked as part of a show at Cairns’ Hartley’s Creek Crocodile Farm almost four decades ago.
“I lost my grip and it bit me between the thumb and forefinger,” Mr Walker said yesterday.
“Luckily, most of its venom was already in my jar.”
Pictures: Cairns snakes
The experience was just as memorable for uncovering Mr Walker’s allergy to antivenene, a condition that kept him on a heart and lung machine for several days but, did not deter him from a career in snake handling.
The 58-year-old has survived half a dozen bites since, during dealings with more than 20,000 slithery reptiles.
He doesn’t count bites from non-lethal snakes.
“There’s been pythons and brown tree snake (bites) too but they’re more like light (snake) kisses,” a smiling Mr Walker told The Weekend Post.
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