A six-year-old girl has died after being bitten by a brown snake in Australia.
The youngster and her family were reportedly unaware she had been bitten until it was too late to save her life.
She was bitten on Friday near Walgett, around 400 miles (650km) northwest of Sydney, and was rushed to a local hospital when she was almost comatose.
Doctors gave her anti-venom before she was flown to Sydney Children’s Hospital on life support.
However, her condition deteriorated and she was transferred back to Walgett Hospital where she died on Saturday.
It is understood the youngster trod on the snake at the family home when she was bitten.
Walgett Shire deputy mayor Jane Keir, who is a registered nurse, told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I believe the family didn’t know she’d been bitten and, by the time they’d realised, she was comatose.
“The little girl could have been on the edge of Sydney and the result would have been the same.”
Fatalities as a result of snakebites in Australia are extremely rare – despite it being home to 20 of the world’s 25 most venomous snakes.
There are about 3,000 snakebite cases in the country each year, with 300 to 500 needing anti-venom treatment.
Only an average of two a year prove fatal, official figures show.
The eastern brown snake causes more deaths than any other species, according to the Australian Museum.