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The owner of a Peterborough reptile zoo came to the rescue of a Kitchener woman in desperate need of antivenom.

She had been travelling in Thailand when she was bitten by a potentially lethal snake called the Malayan Pit Viper.

Bry Loyst, the owner of Indian River Reptile Zoo in Peterborough, says he was told by the hospital that the woman had received antivenom a week ago while in Thailand.

But after returning to Canada she once again began experiencing symptoms.

The woman then sought treatment at Grand River Hospital.

Bry Loyst, the owner of Indian River Reptile Zoo in Peterborough, says she needed additional doses of antivenom.

He picked up six vials at his store and then met up with OPP who delivered it to the hospital.

Besides the Peterborough store, the next closest antivenom dose was in Texas.

“It’s not common but it does happen,” says Loyst. “We’re one of the only facilities other than the Toronto Zoo to stock antivenom for all of the venomous snakes that we keep. Now we have to go to work without that safety net of antivenom. So it’s very concerning.”

Loyst says he's been asked to provide antivenom seven times over the last decade.

The bite of a Malayan Pit Viper is toxic and can result in the loss of fingers, tissues or even death if not treated properly.