Tourist Gets Bitten by Snake at Yoga Retreat in Cyprus

During her yoga session on vacation in Cyprus, a British tourist was bitten by a giant venomous snake and recalled the terrible “burning” agony she endured.

Sam West was celebrating her fortieth birthday at a resort in western Cyprus, close to Paphos when the snake got her.

On April 3, she was going to ascend a meditation platform at the Atlantica Aphrodite Hills Hotel when the apparent blunt-nosed viper, about 5 feet in length, struck out at her.

Doctors at the hospital gave Ms. West, who owns a hair shop in Telford, anti-venom.

She was admitted to the critical care unit for four days and then transferred to a regular ward for one day before being released.

A hotel room with disability access costs £260 ($330) per night, and she now relies on a wheelchair for mobility. She is crossing her fingers that her insurance will pay for the accommodation and her plane ticket back to Britain.

According to Ms. West, the hotel had relocated yoga classes to a dance studio and cut back part of the foliage around the meditation platform.

Macrovipera lebetinus, the blunt-nosed viper, is a native of North Africa and the Middle East; it is also found in Cyprus.

This strong snake can grow up to two meters long.  The Ministry of Defense warns British military troops working on the UK’s two sovereign facilities in Cyprus of the danger.

The blunt-nosed viper is dubbed the bad boy of the island’s snakes– the only potentially lethal snake in Cyprus. But deaths are quite uncommon.

Research published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology found that around 40 individuals are admitted to hospitals on a yearly basis after bites by venomous snakes on the island of Cyprus.

Only two people—a 73-year-old man and a 77-year-old woman—died as a result of snake bites during the years 2000 and 2018.

The warm months of April through October they accounted for almost 90% of occurrences, with September seeing an exceptionally high number.