A teen girl in Zimbabwe was bitten by a black mamba while sitting in her high school classroom and died about 30 minutes later, a report said.
Melody Chiputura — a 17-year-old high school student from Rushinga — died Thursday after the serpent lunged at her thigh and bit her inside the classroom, The Herald-Zimbabwe reported.
Some of her classmates immediately killed the reptile — one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Melody was rushed to the hospital but died along the way, according to ZimLive.com.
School head Christopher Murenga said Melody had just returned to her classroom after spending time with her friends in sporting activities.
“Immediately she screamed, saying something had bitten her,” Murenga told the newspaper.
“We are in shock. We don’t understand where this snake came from. The classroom block is far away from suspected snake habitats.”
Her parents arrived at the Rushinga Clinic and received the devastating news.
“We received a call 10 minutes after she was bitten. When we arrived at the clinic it was too late,” the grieving dad, Joseph Chiputura, told The Herald-Zimbabwe.
“This is hard to accept and it is painful. I don’t understand how a snake can get access into a classroom and bite my daughter,” Chiputura said.
“My daughter had great potential and she loved going to school. She had great hopes pinned on education and we had t make sure we provided everything she needed to succeed,” he said, adding that she planned on becoming a psychologist.
He said some of the classmates panicked and jumped out the windows, while others grabbed the stricken girl and called for help.
Melody was taken to Rushinga Clinic within five minutes, the principal said.
“Her parents arrived within 20 minutes in the company of someone with traditional herbs,” he told the paper. “At the same time, we contacted Chimhanda Hospital and the doctor advised us to bring Melody and the snake.”
But the girl died en route. She was buried on Saturday.
The school head, Murenga, said Melody was an “obedient and well-mannered girl” who assisted with cooking and catering.
Themba Mangwiro, the deputy provincial education chief, said officials determined that the cold-blooded killer crossed a highway after someone attacked it and slithered onto the school premises.
“This incident has made us realize that we need to improve disaster risk management, which is not given enough attention I school,” he told The Herald-Zimbabwe.
Black mambas, which can grow to about nine feet in length, have enough venom to kill six adults, most within 20 minutes of being bitten.
The snakes get their name not from their skin color, but from the dark color inside their mouth, which they display when they feel threatened, according to the report.