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MUSEUM WORKER IN HOSPITAL AFTER BITE BY DEADLY VIPER

An employee of a reptile museum bitten by one of the world's most poisonous snakes was listed in stable condition Monday.

Robert McDonald, 24, of Bethpage, a handler at the Long Island Reptile Expo & Museum in Hicksville, was recovering from a bite from a West African Gaboon viper, which has 2-inch fangs. McDonald was bitten Sunday as he changed the water in the snake's cage.

It is too early to tell whether McDonald will lose his right arm as a result of the bite, said a spokeswoman for Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx.

The Gaboon viper is one of the deadliest of venomous reptiles because of its long fangs, which sink deep into the flesh of its prey, said Michael Hano of the New York Herpetological Society. He said McDonald should have taken the snake out of the cage before changing the water.

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