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Chambersburg man bitten by pet poisonous snake

August 12, 2010

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. -- A Chambersburg man was flown by helicopter to Harrisburg General Hospital on Wednesday after he was bitten by his pet Western Gaboon viper, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Barry Lee Painter Sr., 38, address unavailable, was in fair condition Thursday morning, a hospital spokesperson said.

Painter had gone to a residence on Walnut Dale Road in Southampton Township where he kept the pet viper, police said. Painter was intoxicated and playing with the snake when it bit him on the hand, police said in a prepared release.

His friend was driving Painter to Chambersburg Hospital when Painter became unconscious on Interstate 81, police said. State police and emergency medical personnel were called shortly after 7 p.m. and Painter was flown from the scene to the hospital, police said.

A snake catcher was called in and captured the snake at the Walnut Dale Road address, police said. While authorities were getting the snake, suspected drugs were found in the house, police alleged.

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