Cobra breaks free and bites wildlife sanctuary employee

LOXAHATCHEE, FL (WFLX) -  Aneth McCarthy, who works with her husband, Mark McCarthy, caring for animals at McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary, was bitten by a cobra Thursday morning at the sanctuary, her husband said.

At 5:45 a.m., crews from Palm Beach County Fire Rescue responded to reports of a snake bite at the sanctuary.

According to her husband, Aneth was cleaning a cage when a spectacled cobra broke free from a hold and bit her in the finger. She was transported to Palms West Hospital for initial treatment.

Aneth is licensed to handle the cobras and is very experienced, according to Mark. "She's my everything. Without her, there would be no sanctuary," he said.

The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission said Aneth was in critical condition.

According to its Web site, McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary treats sick and injured animals. It says many exotic animals it receives have been donated by wildlife officers who confiscated them from the previous owners because of neglect, abuse or illegal possession. Some animals, owners can no longer care for, also are sent to the sanctuary.

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