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Snake expert dies from bite during presentation on overcoming fear of snakes

By Mason White 12:56 PM June 23, 2013
Dieter Zorn 

By: Moses Gold
A snake expert died after he was bitten by a snake during a reptile show.

The German snake expert died after being bitten several times by a snake during the presentation aimed at helping people ease their fears of reptiles.

Dieter Zorn, 53, an expert herpetologist, died of a heart attack minutes after being bitten by a Vipera aspis snake. At his show, Zorn encouraged attendees to handle reptiles in order to get rid of their fears of snakes. Zorn was in France to perform his reptile show, which teaches people how to overcome their fears of snakes, when he was bitten several times.

His co-host, Uschi Kallus, said that Zorn died from an “extremely rare allergic reaction” to the bite. Emergency personnel tried to save him by administering a blood thinner, but sadly, they were unable to save him. Kallus said the incident was “exceptionally rare.”

Vipera aspis is a venomous viper species found in France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. It can grow to about 20 inches long and live in a variety of habitats. A bite from this type of snake can be very painful, but only about 4 percent of all untreated bites are known to be fatal.