Jerry Martin is one of the most famous herpetologists in India. In 2011, he went to a remote area of Arunachal Pradesh, considered the wildest territory in India, to collect poison.
While walking at night, he came across a small lemon green snake called Trimeresurus meiosis, commonly known as the honey viper. The snake can be found in the hilly regions of China, India, and Myanmar. But key traits such as population size and venom toxicity remain poorly understood. Martin grabbed the snake by the tail and learned more than he ever hoped to know.
Jerry Martin says that
The next day, my colleague used the village’s only telephone to inquire about the medicines I should take. Someone followed him for four hours. Once my blood began to clot, we decided it was best to wait. It was still raining and the road was completed in disrepair, so we couldn’t go anywhere anyway. It took five days to repair the road. When the rain stopped, I was taken to the hospital. I’ve come to terms with the loss of my finger. But when I came to my senses after anesthesia, I still had it.
Prior to this, the symptoms of a bite of this species had not been recorded by science; we are currently working on an article on the Medo pit viper that will include this information. I learned from personal experience about the Indian epidemic of snake bites. [There are about 58,000 snakebite deaths in India every year.] There are places where primary care centers have no idea what they’re doing. They do not know how to properly treat bites and do not have the appropriate equipment. We must devote more attention and time to solving this problem.