A Russian collector of exotic snake breeds has died after one of his dangerous pets – a King Cobra – bit him while he was feeding it.
The victim, whose name was simply given as Vladmir, died within minutes of being bitten by the King Cobra – the largest venomous snake in the world.
According to the police, the 21-year-old, who lives at his flat in south-central Russia’s Samara Oblast region, was with his girlfriend, Anna, when the King Cobra suddenly struck him while it was being fed.
The King Cobra said to have a fatal bite so strong it is capable of killing elephants within hours, is renowned for avoiding confrontation with humans if possible, but if cornered or provoked, it could act in defense.
Most victims of the King Cobra have been found to be snake handlers, as in the case of Vladmir, who collapsed and died in his girlfriend’s arms in a matter of minutes after he was bitten.
His terrified girlfriend immediately called an ambulance but there was little medics could do for him when they arrived as the snake’s neurotoxins had taken its effect.
Anna said: “Vladimir was not afraid of his poisonous serpents and liked playing with them. His collection of snakes included a green mamba, a red spitting cobra and the King Cobra, which killed him”.
“He had only had the snake for a short time”, she added.
According to MirrorUk, Vladimir began collecting snakes only two years ago and his social media profile was dotted with pictures of his reptilian pets.
It is unclear what will become of the snakes in the death of their owner, but Anna has made clear she does not want to take care of them.
However, it is likely she will have no second thoughts selling off the King Cobra, which is highly regarded as a prized pet among collectors around the world.