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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 03-16-2018, 03:33 PM   #1
Famous 'snake whisperer' dies after fatal cobra bite

Sad. Looks like Darwin caught up with him.

I wonder if the FD will continue trying to relocate the cobras alive or if they'll just kill them.


A famed ‘snake whisperer’ in Malaysia has died after he was bitten by a cobra, according to media reports.

Free Malaysia Today reports that Abu Zarin Hussin, a firefighter whose snake-catching skills have gone viral, received the fatal cobra bite three days ago. The 33-year-old died early on Friday, it said.

The New York Post reports that firefighters in Malaysia are often called to deal with snakes in homes and businesses.

Abu Zarin led a fire department King Cobra Squad, where he trained other firefighters to catch the deadly serpents, according to Free Malaysia Today.

A 10-year firefighting veteran, he showcased his snake-handling skills on “Asia’s Got Talent” last year. His exploits are also widely documented on social media.

The Straits Times reports that Abu Zarin was attached to Temerloh fire station in the Malaysian state of Pahang. The firefighter has previously had close calls with snakes — he was reportedly in a coma for two days following a cobra bite in 2015.

According to the Post, in 2016 Abu Zarin was misidentified in the Thai media and some U.K. tabloids as a Thai man who allegedly married his pet snake, believing it to be the reincarnation of his girlfriend.
Old 03-17-2018, 07:01 PM   #2
Thanks for sharing this. Gee, he only made it to 33 years old, that's sad. The late Grace Olive Wiley made it to 64, free-handling cobras & various other hots. (-she passed away in 1948, for those unfamiliar with her name) A few people "get away" with doing this for years, but sooner or later a little slip does them in...it's truly not worth the risk.
Old 03-17-2018, 08:00 PM   #3
I think this was a wild cobra that got him, not one that he owned that he free-handled. A few other articles state that he was on a call with his FD when he was bit by the cobra, which is why I wondered if the FD will change how it responds to these calls.
Old 03-18-2018, 01:19 AM   #4
That was my take on it too, that it was a wild cobra. If you're suggesting that the late Grace Olive Wiley only handled her own snakes, that's not true, & the one that did her in was newly-acquired, but like Abu Zarin Hussin, she had a few injuries & close calls along the way. It's sad for him, to lose his life so young, & might well make others think twice before catching & relocating cobras there, so it's bad news all around.

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