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Nicki Minaj anaconda bites dancer: dangers of snake bite

During a Fri., Aug.23, 2014 pre-MTV Video Music Awards rehearsal of Nicki Minaj's unsavory song "Anaconda," one of Minaj's backup dancers was bitten by a 6-foot-long boa constrictor. The slithering serpent who goes by the name of Rocky was being used as a prop during the song as part of a run-through for the Aug. 24 awards show. (People)

Puncture wounds from a snakebite
Puncture wounds from a snakebite
Wikimedia commons/Victor M. Vicente Selvas

Minaj is not the first singer to appear on stage with a snake during the MTV Video Music Awards. Britney Spears‘ started her 2001 performance of “I’m A Slave 4 U” with a yellow python wrapped around her neck.

Medical Treatment for Minaj Dancer

Even though the boa constrictor is not venomous, the female dancer was treated at the scene. After her wound was cleaned she was taken to the hospital to prevent a bacterial infection "out of an abundance of caution," Chris Velvin, director of production safety for Viacom Media Networks, told MTV.

Dangers of Snakebites

Even non venomous snakebites can cause dangerous infections by spreading bacteria from the snake's saliva and fangs which sometimes harbor microbial organisms. These bites typically result in puncture wounds inflicted by the serpent's fangs. Bites from non-venomous snakes can also cause lacerations from snake's teeth. A snake bite is often painful, may result in swollen, red skin around the bite, and can also trigger an anaphylactic reaction, which can be potentially fatal, even if the snake is not poisonous.

Of course, bites from venomous snakes can be deadly and cause damage to the surrounding skin, tissue, muscles, major organs, etc. depending upon the type of poisonous snake and its venom.

According to Animal bites Fact sheet N°373" from the World Health Organization, the number of snakebites that occur each year may be as high as five million.

Fate of Nicki Minaj Snake

The snake that bit Nicki Minaj's backup dancer was reportedly taken away in a container after biting the performer. No word has been released yet on if the same snake will be used again. We hope both the dancer and the snake recover quickly.

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