A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl was treated in intensive care after being bitten by an adder in the New Forest.

Tyler Butcher became unwell after being bitten on the foot by the reptile while out walking with her family in Bolderwood Hill.

The youngster was in agony as her leg turned black and began to bruise while emergency crews rushed her to Southampton General Hospital at about 1pm on Good Friday.

Her father Kenny Butcher said that Tyler was treated with antivenom drugs and was recovering over the weekend.

New Forest expert Adie Roberts of Grange Reptiles said an adder bite was rare in the UK but warned: “They can be fatal even in fit and healthy people, although in most cases a child of nine would survive unless they had some kind of underlying complaint.

“The bites are particularly dangerous if they go untreated. I would advise anyone who sees an adder to leave it alone and slowly move away to admire it from a distance.

“Under no circumstances should people throw anything or try to get close to the snake. Anyone bitten should immediately seek medical help.

“The unusual weather has changed the behaviour and breeding patterns of the snakes who are basking in the sun thinking it’s May or June.

“With holidaymakers coming to the area as well as an increase in the adder population there may be more contact between people and adders.”

The Butcher family were understood to be visiting the area during the Easter break from Tring, Hertfordshire.