Venomous snake bites San Diego Zoo worker

California

An African Bush Viper venomous snake is displayed for reporters at the Woodland Park Zoo Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, in Seattle. Workers at the zoo are now caring for a collection of about a dozen exotic reptiles, including several Gila monsters, owned by a woman who recently passed away. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

SAN DIEGO — A San Diego Zoo wildlife care specialist was hospitalized Monday after being bitten by a venomous snake in an area that was away from the public, zoo officials said.

The worker was taken to the hospital for “evaluation and medical care” after being bitten by an African bush viper, officials said in a statement. It was reported around 2 p.m. Monday, according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

The staffer’s condition was not immediately disclosed, but officials say they remain in close contact.

“Although the San Diego Zoo cares for a number of venomous reptiles, incidents like this are very rare,” they said.

The zoo said the snake was “contained at all times with no risk of an escape.”

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