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.
Last year Dan Brandon, a snake lover in the U.K., was found suffocated to death near his pet python, “Tiny.” A coroner later said there was “no doubt” that the python had killed Brandon.