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The six-year-old girl killed by a brown snake in NSW was the latest in a rising trend of deadly encounters with the species

Photo: Shutterstock.

A six-year-old girl has died after she was bitten by a brown snake at a property near Walgett, in north-west New South Wales, on February 5.

The girl was taken to a local hospital where she was administered an anti-venom and later flown to Sydney Children’s Hospital, where she was placed on life support.

Despite the extensive medical attention her condition deteriorated over the weekend she died on Saturday.

The eastern brown snake is considered one of the most venomous in the world, and is reported to be responsible for around 60% of deaths caused by snakebite.

Fatalities from brown snakebites in Australia has increased in recent years.

Between 1980 and 1999, there were six deaths resulting from a brown snakebite.

From 2000 to date, there have been 17 deaths.

Some wildlife experts put this down to an increase in land clearing and El Niño weather conditions.

Because the species prefers to live in habitats of woodlands, scrublands, and grasslands, when such environments are cleared for development or other reasons, the snakes have no other option than to find a new home.

This, coupled with the warmer weather means they are more active as brown snakes cannot maintain a constant body temperature without help form the sun’s warmth.

Should you or someone you know be bitten by a snake, stay as still as possible, apply a pressure with an immobilisation bandage and seek immediate medical attention.

The poison information hotline is 13 11 26 or its website is here.

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