A man is in hospital after what is believed to be the first-ever venomous snakebite in Ireland.
Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown in Dublin requested anti-venom from the National Reptile Zoo after a 22-year-old man was bitten on the finger by a puff adder.
The snake is native to Africa and is believed to have been privately-owned as a pet.
James Hennessy is director of the zoo, and he says it is the first time they have ever received a request for the anti-venom.
He explained: "Puff adder venom is pretty nasty.
"It's going to start digesting and disintegrating all around the area of the bite, and that will continue up the limb as well.
"It will then cause massive internal issues as well, if not treated."
Mr Hennessy said the zoo is the only place in the country to hold any anti-venom stock, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is the next closest place that holds significant supplies.
He said the National Reptile Zoo usually stocks enough anti-venom for immediate care for some common snake bites - but they would then likely have to import further supplies from Europe to treat anyone who has been bitten.
However, he explained there is currently a global shortage of anti-venom and that it's not stockpiled in one specific area.
Mr Hennessy noted that while there have been false alarms in the past, this is to his knowledge "the first recorded venomous snakebite in Ireland".