A 24-year-old man died in Andhra Pradesh after he placed a cobra on his shoulders and the snake bit him. The incident took place in Sullurpeta town in the state's Nellore district on Monday, but came to a light after a video began doing the rounds on social media on Tuesday.
The police said that the deceased, identified as Jagadish, visited a snake charmer in Mangalampadu Street in the town. Local media reports claimed that the snake charmer, who had been entertaining locals, had claimed that he had an antidote for snake bites.
A video of the incident, seemingly shot by a friend of the deceased, shows the snake charmer removing the cobra from his basket and handing it to Jagadish, who is clearly inexperienced at handling the reptile. The deceased is also seen immediately trying to scare by standers, including the person shooting the video, by rushing towards them with the snake in his hand. The snake charmer is then seen encouraging Jagadish to place it around his neck like a garland. While initially hesitant, Jagadish agrees to do it. Watch the video here.
The police said that Jagadish then asked his friends to take a picture with the snake, when it bit him on his hand and he collapsed. He was first rushed to a local hospital for treatment and later to a private hospital in Nellore district, where he was declared brought dead.
According to media reports, a case has been registered with the Sullurpet police against the snake charmer, who has been absconding since the incident.
“The snake charmer was collecting money from the public by displaying the cobra. He had removed the fangs and poison a few weeks ago, but the snake developed the venom again. Unaware of this Jagadeesh came to the snake charmer who handed over the snake to him,” the Sullurpet police inspector told ToI.