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Karl Berry, Australian Field Hockey Player, Dies From Snake Bite After Warm-Up Run

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An Australian field hockey player died after getting bitten by a snake and then going for a run, a decision that caused the venom to spread quickly through his body.

Karl Berry, 26, sustained the bite on Tuesday, April 23 at the Marrara Hockey Centre in Darwin, Australia, according to the Associated Press. He died on April 24.

Berry, who was the captain of the Commerce-Pints Hockey Club, was cleaning up at the center when he noticed what he thought was a python, the Northern Territory News reported. He picked up the snake and removed it from the area because children were playing nearby.

The snake bit him, but he apparently did not know at the time that the animal was venomous. So he went for a warm-up training run as planned.

A group training nearby saw Berry collapsed some time later and called an ambulance, according to Australia's ABC News. St. John Ambulance spokesman Craig Garraway said that Berry was conscious when they found him.

"After some discussion and investigation, we became aware he had picked up a snake ... and further investigation [showed] it had actually bitten him on the finger," Garraway said. "He had signs and symptoms of snake bite. He was becoming quite ill. He'd been on a two-kilometre run, so obviously circulation had increased during that run."

The snake that gave him the deadly bite was not a python, but rather is suspected to have been a highly venomous western brown.

The executive officer of Hockey Northern Territory, Baden Sharp, announced that officials from the local Parks and Wildlife department went to the Marrara Hockey Centre to inspect the area, according to the Brisbane Times. He also said that the team plans to honor Berry at upcoming games.

"A minute’s silence will be held before each senior game this weekend," he told the Brisbane Times, "and players will wear black arm bands in memory of Karl Berry’s passing."

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