The owner of a Peterborough reptile zoo came to the rescue of a Kitchener woman in desperate need of antivenin.

She had been travelling in Thailand when she was bitten by a potentially lethal snake called the Malayan Pit Viper.

Bry Loyst, the owner of Indian River Reptile Zoo in Peterborough, says he was told by the hospital that the woman had received antivenin a week ago while in Thailand.

But after returning to Canada she once again began experiencing symptoms.

The woman then sought treatment at Grand River Hospital.

Loyst says she needed additional doses of antivenin.

He picked up six vials at his store and then met up with OPP who delivered it to the hospital.

Besides the Peterborough store, the next closest antivenin dose was in Texas.

“It’s not common but it does happen,” says Loyst. “We’re one of the only facilities other than the Toronto Zoo to stock antivenin for all of the venomous snakes that we keep. Now we have to go to work without that safety net of antivenin. So it’s very concerning.”

Justin Kreller, a Cambridge business owner who sells snakes and other reptiles, says even a millilitre of venom from a Malayan Pit Viper can be deadly.

"Just because something is small doesn't necessarily mean it's not dangerous."

A bite can result in the loss of fingers, tissues or even death if not treated properly.