Malaysian 'snake-handling celebrity' dies of cobra bite

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Abu Zarin Hussin headed the King Cobra Squad of the fire department, where he trained other smoke eaters to identify poisonous snakes and to capture them without killing them.

Firemen in Malaysia are often called upon to deal with snakes that have invaded people's homes as there are 26 venomous terrestrial snakes with life-threatening bites in the country.

Although the reports were false, the Malaysian firefighter later participated in a talent show where he showed off his skills as a snake handler and even kissed a serpent. "The appearance nevertheless didn't go down too well with 'flabbergasted" judges.

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Abu Zarin was admitted into HOSHAH's intensive care unit after being bitten by a cobra during an operation in Bentong.

Friends described the snake-catcher's determination during unsafe missions.

In 2016, British tabloids, including the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror, published claims that Hussin married a 10-foot-long cobra because he believed it was his reincarnated girlfriend. But the near-death experience did not stop him from befriending reptiles-he even kept four cobras as pets to study their behavior, publishing pictures of their coexistence on his social media channels.

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"They used my photos and started making up stories, saying that I married a snake", he told The Star Online at the time, adding that he was disappointed by the errors. "My interest stems from my father, who was a snake charmer", he said.

The firefighter has previously had close calls with snakes - he was reportedly in a coma for two days following a cobra bite in 2015. Perhaps it was only time that for a man who continuously dared the primal, that his luck would run out....

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