A man in eastern China cut off his finger after being bitten by a poisonous snake – only to be told that there was no need to take such a dramatic measure to save himself. The 60-year-old farmer named Zhang was cutting firewood near his mountain village when he was bitten on the finger by the snake. He identified it as a particularly feared type of viper known locally as the “five-step snake” because of the belief that victims will not be able to walk more than five paces before dying, and chopped off the finger to prevent the venom from spreading. He then wrapped up his hand in a cloth and made the journey to the nearest large city, where he was able to receive treatment. However, he left the amputated finger on the mountainside. Doctors said there was no need to have taken such a drastic step, because the snake is less lethal than commonly believed, but the man’s reaction to being bitten was a common one.

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