A San Diego Zoo wildlife care specialist was bitten Monday by a venomous snake while they were in an area away from the public, an official said.
The worker was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment after the bite from the African bush viper, the official said, stressing that "incidents like this are very rare, and the snake was contained at all times with no risk of an escape."
The condition of the employee was unknown Tuesday.
The male African Bush viper can grow up to nearly 2.5 feet in length and the species easily recognized by its dorsal scales that give it a distinctive, dragon-like appearance.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
Since there is no antivenin for the African bush viper, its bite, which can cause bleeding of the internal organs, can be fatal, according to several websites, though the danger is reportedly dependent upon the age of the snake and a variety of other factors.