A 30-year-old Kerala man hailing from Sasthavattom in Thiruvananthapuram died on Sunday night after being bitten by a snake which he had rescued and had been exhibiting in front of people. The death has garnered attention as visuals of the incident came out.
Sakeer was called by residents of Navaikulam panchayat on Sunday night after a cobra was found in a house in the area. Though Sakeer rescued the snake, he got bitten as he was showing the snake to people.
In a video of the incident, Sakeer can be seen holding the cobra by its body, even as he plays with it for the rolling cameras. Sakeer displays the snake for those gathered, even as it attempts to charge at him multiple times. At one point, Sakeer allows the cobra to slither on the ground, while holding the tail by his left hand. When he uses his right hand to grab hold of its body, the snake attacks Sakeer, wrapping its fangs around his right hand. The video shows him trying to examine his injury as he continues to hold the snake by its tail.
Sakeer is reportedly not a registered snake rescuer. Though he was taken to hospital, he died on the way to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College. But according to a panchayat ward member in the region, there was allegedly a delay in taking him to hospital. He alleged that Sakeer was taken to the hospital about 30 minutes after being bitten by the snake.
‚ÄúPeople who were at the spot say that the man had been refusing to go to a hospital even after being bitten. I learned that after keeping the snake secure in a bottle after being bitten, it took about 30 minutes for people to take him to a hospital. The people who were at the spot are now blaming the man. But at least residents should have been responsible since they knew it was a cobra and it was dangerous. It was only after he started to show weakness, that he was taken to hospital,‚ÄĚ Manju K, Thazhevettiyara ward member of Navaikulam panchayat told TNM.
She also added that after the man was taken to hospital, another snake rescuer Vava Suresh, was then called to take the snake. ‚ÄúThe snake which bit Sakeer is a three-year-old one, he had told people at the spot after catching it,‚ÄĚ Manju added.
The man reportedly is survived by a wife and two children. The youngest child is only two months old.
Snake rescue experts have long been advocating that it is not scientific to catch a snake with bare hands. According to experts, a snake can be rescued in most cases using a stick and a bag. Experts have also said exhibiting snakes in one‚Äôs hands are dangerous to humans and is also disturbing to the reptiles.