Snake-snapping owner killed by pet Cobra

2011-09-19 22:35

Johannesburg - A snake collector died when his Red Spitting Cobra spat in his face in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.

Captain Mali Govender said the snake attacked while the 29-year-old man was taking photos of it on Sunday.

A friend was with him and called the paramedics. He was treated at the scene, but died shortly afterwards, she said.

Govender said it was not immediately clear how the poison entered his body.

He had a collection of 89 snakes, ranging from vipers to cobras, and had a permit to keep the reptiles at his house.

Environmental affairs officials would visit the man's house to determine who should take responsibility for the snakes, Govender said.

  • OZNOB - 2011-09-19 23:13

    I THINK that this guy got complacent as one cannot be too careful when handling snakes

      Worldwise - 2011-09-20 01:20

      Wow Oznob! You are really a master of the obvious!

      PunkBuster - 2011-09-20 11:37

      I didnt know you could be killed by a cobra spitting on you... Surely he must have been bitten???

      PunkBuster - 2011-09-20 11:38

      @ DarkAngel. Snake sushi??? Sounds interesting... Think I would try it...

      JH - 2011-09-20 11:39

      @ Worldwise- You know what they say about sarcasm- It is a sign of a small brain and insecurity- I guess you proofed your point

      Barry - 2011-09-20 11:47

      This is like swimming in shark infested waters and then blaming the poor sharks when some-one gets chowed.

      kaja - 2011-09-20 13:17

      Aaah, don't they want to send all dem snakes to Malema?

      G-spotWizard - 2011-09-20 13:39

      This is a clear case of death by stupidity. Why keep 89 snakes on your property? Remember the old saying:" You can the lion out of the bush but you can't take the bush out of the lion no matter how long you keep it away from the bush". Did this guy had life cover? I think his premium would be very very high as the likelyhood of his death was also very high. Now think again.

      farmworker - 2011-09-20 14:27

      That can't be the reason the fact is one should just leave the wild animal as such

      farmworker - 2011-09-20 16:20

      That can't be the reason the fact is one should just leave the wild animal as such, I am sure he could get some human friend

      gadley - 2011-09-23 12:18

      It is highly unlikely that the spat venom killed this man. He was an asthma sufferer and went anaphylactic shock and died, the same way people do when they are stung by a bee. He was highly experienced, however this was an unfortunate accident with dire consequences.

  • Andre Michau - 2011-09-19 23:17

    It is highly unlikely, imo, that a red spitting cobra (Naja pallida) would cause quick death in a relatively healthy adult human, let alone dying "shortly after" being spat at/on. More probable the person had a heart attack or some serious underlying illness.

      ¤¤¤¤¤¤¤ - 2011-09-19 23:42

      I have to agree, strongly. There are extremely few deaths attributed to this snake, and as far as my cursory research reveals, none that can be ascribed to having been spat on (in itself very rare, even when involving much more venomous spitting cobras). The article does mention that it is assumed that the venom had somehow managed to enter the blood stream. I hope News24 does a follow-up on this tragic story.

      william.nettmann - 2011-09-19 23:43

      Very unlikely - see

      Eastafrican - 2011-09-20 01:34

      I agree. I run a reptile park in conjunction with a Snake Bite Treatment Clinic. We have dealt with numerous Red Spitting Cobra bites(and other snake bites) Never seen a case like this though. Been spat on by several species of spitting cobras including getting venom in my mouth and eyes. Never had a problem. The only thing I can think of is that the person must have suffered one or other allergic reaction caused by the venom and suffered anaphylactic shock.

      Lyndatjie - 2011-09-20 07:32

      I was thinking the same thing... an open wound somewhere though could have contributed.... How sad that yet again snakes will be getting a bad rap and ad to the hysteria surrounding them. I hope the propensity of regarding them as "pets" will be rethought by most. My condolences are with his family...

      nn.prv - 2011-09-20 07:36

      What would happen if he swallowed the vernom? Would he survive?

      Gungets Tuft - 2011-09-20 07:52

      Agree with East African. At 29 years old, seems heart attack the least likely. To my knowledge swallowing the venom is not as dangerous, normally requires entry directly to the blood stream. How damn quick is Wikipedia - it already has an entry for this incident, with the diagnosis of anaphylactic shock.!!!!

      DeathDealer - 2011-09-20 07:55

      Well that or someone decided to give anti venom and the person actually died from severe anaphylactic reaction due to the anti venom?

      kalabafazi - 2011-09-20 09:59

      @ nn.prv - Unless the victim had an ulcer or other type of open would in the mouth, stomach or throat, the swallowing snake poison is mostly harmless as it needs to be transported via the blood or lymphatic system

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-20 09:59

      Anaphalixis is a good call - severe allergic reaction to the venom or antivenom would account for the speedy death.

      Megan - 2011-09-20 11:17

      Deathdealer you are probably quite correct. Most snake bite deaths, especially among handlers are not due to the snake venom but the anitvenom itself. It's one of the main reasons why snake bites (obviously depending on the venom) are more commonly treated symptomatically. Just to point a few things out. Venom does not need to enter the blood stream directly and infact very seldom does a snake get a good shot straight into a vein. The venom is usually moved through the lymphatic system of the body before entering the blood and for this reason, there are very few snakes around that will kill you quickly. (Please note that I am aware that this does not include ALL snakes, but the majority of snake bites seen in this country).

      gadley - 2011-09-23 12:19

      It is highly unlikely that the spat venom killed this man. He was an asthma sufferer and went anaphylactic shock and died, the same way people do when they are stung by a bee. He was highly experienced, however this was an unfortunate accident with dire consequences.

  • me - 2011-09-20 06:05

    It is snake keepers/collectors like this victim who "milk" the repile's venom for the sole purpose of having antivenin manufactured. So next time any of you hear of a random snakebite, think back about your name calling. It is people like this victim that are "responsible" for saving the lives of snakebite victims..... Catch a wake up YOU morons!!

      Worldwise - 2011-09-20 06:49

      Thanks me. Only those with an irrational fear of snakes would call a snake handler with permits an idiot.

      Flee - 2011-09-20 09:16

      Worldwise... Too true.. Most fear and knock what they dont know.. Will be honest just googled the snake, to find out more... and WOW what a stunning looking snake..

      gadley - 2011-09-23 12:19

      It is highly unlikely that the spat venom killed this man. He was an asthma sufferer and went anaphylactic shock and died, the same way people do when they are stung by a bee. He was highly experienced, however this was an unfortunate accident with dire consequences.

  • Mzungu - 2011-09-20 06:51

    Poor guy, nothing but a freak accident. Condolences to the family

      Sharon - 2011-09-20 07:35

      Freak accident, really ?, As a snake handler was he unaware of the risks involved, especially if he had a affliction which could exacerbate the toxicity of the venom, STUPID is what I call it, not a accident. Sadly people who handle dangerous animals THINK that they have a "special understanding and connection" with their dangerous irrational unpredictable pets which leads to complacency and *BAAM*, so much for their special connection, case closed and Darwin wins. To Mzungu^ and those^^ that are challenged by the science of the light spectrum and infra red, NOTE that I did say reflective surfaces like Glasses and lenses, can you tell me where the infra red energy goes to that these reflective surfaces absorb ?, @MZUNGU Why is it that snakes especially Cobras WILL NOT eat a rodent which is at ambient temperature or cold i.e. straight out the fridge, We _ALWAYS_ had to heat the stored or dead rodents up in a microwave so that the snakes would show interest in the dead rodent, as to your comment that snakes don't attack the infra red lights, well there's no contrast there is there, hence the reason why the snakes don't go for the infra red lights, but put a pair of sunglasses in there, move them around and see what happens, oh ensure that you're not wearing the sunglasses

      zane.blignaut - 2011-09-20 08:00

      @ Sharon... "We _ALWAYS_ had to heat the stored or dead rodents up in a microwave so that the snakes would show interest in the dead rodent" and then you say "Sadly people who handle dangerous animals THINK that they have a "special understanding and connection" with their dangerous irrational unpredictable pets which leads to complacency and *BAAM*, so much for their special connection, case closed and Darwin wins. so does that not make you a contestant for the very same Darwin award???

      frikdt - 2011-09-20 08:59

      @Sharon: "To Mzungu^ and those^^ that are challenged by the science of the light spectrum and infra red, NOTE that I did say reflective surfaces like Glasses and lenses, can you tell me where the infra red energy goes to that these reflective surfaces absorb ?" Yes, if you can tell me where the infrared energy goes to that non-reflective surfaces, in immediate proximity to these reflective surfaces, absorb.

      Bettysue - 2011-09-20 09:28

      Geez Sharon...why the hysterics? Keep your knickers dry...Mzungu was just offering condolences.

      Fedup - 2011-09-20 10:41

      Gee Sharon, took your bitch pill this morning did you, relax Mzungu was just saying his condolences.

      Arries - 2011-09-20 16:06

      @Sharon: you never knew the guy, yet call him stupid. Then in you infinite wisdom (loads of sarcasm) tell how you heated "stored or dead rodents" (herpetologists refer to them as "feeders") in the microwave prior to feeding. Any person that keeps snakes knows that warming in the microwave is not ideal as the outside will be defrosted whilst the inside may still be frozen (that is bad for the snake). Do me a favour, sod off! He was a friend to many, your comments are exceptionally rude and insensitive

  • Ixian - 2011-09-20 06:53

    "You're a pig!" "No I'm not, you're a bigger pig!" "You're such a gay pig!" "You're such an ugly gay pig I wouldn't even eat your bacon." Come on kids, grow up. Some of your comments are really juvenile.

      Subculture - 2011-09-20 09:24

      So Says the guy with a dexter pic for his profile, how's didi doing there..~~

      patrickb - 2011-09-20 09:26

      Just because many pigs are pink, does not make them gay!!!!!

      AjaxFiko - 2011-09-20 09:46

      Just because most gays wear pink, doesn't make them pigs. or does it?

  • Bokke - 2011-09-20 06:56

    I will never keep a snake in my house, whether it is dead, alive or even a toy...... NEVER IN MY HOUSE!!!! If it sneaks in, I will kill it, if I can't SPCA!!!!

      Foreigner - 2011-09-20 08:45

      I will also refer to you my comment below to henk....

      henk - 2011-09-20 09:18

      Foreigner, you are not changing anyones mind about snakes on here, so stop waisting your time.

      Flee - 2011-09-20 09:19

      C'Mon Bokke....How about call the SPCA first ?? Dumbo... Why kill it?? You are on its turf, why should it take the blame for your ignorance...

      Foreigner - 2011-09-20 09:36

      @Henk, I am not trying to change anyone's mind (if I did it would be a bonus though), and this man's family and friends are going through a very emotional time, knowing he died doing what he loved. Now they must read comments where people exclaim how they kill snakes! All snake handlers know about people killing snakes, but to comment that on an article like THIS is really unethical. Condolences to his friends and family, and know that I will share his passion and hobby for protecting and studying snakes as long I live, and if I also die because of this, then I will have lived a full live.

      DarkAngel - 2011-09-20 10:16

      why kill it?? rather call the fire dept

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:15

      Bokke - "even a toy". Never heard such paranoia before - or are you one of those bright sparks that thinks "the bible says snakes are evil". Duh..................

      farmworker - 2011-09-20 14:31

      I would also kill any snake in my path even the non-Venomous one

  • Mzungu - 2011-09-20 07:01

    "The snake spat him in his eye and mouth. He had a bad reaction to the venom and also suffered from chronic asthma"

  • braamc - 2011-09-20 07:04

    A job well done, sorry to hear

  • dee-k - 2011-09-20 07:31

    Words cannot begin to describe how I feel, I love snakes as well. This is an accident. It should not have happened.

      Foreigner - 2011-09-20 08:48

      Agreed, see how rare it is that someone who works with snakes die? You never hear of all the bites (daily) that happen when people try to kill snakes. You never hear anymore exactly how much people die daily from Malaria, crime, Aids related disease, TB, more crime, military action (I could go on). So rare it actually makes the news!

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:32

      It amazes me how there are so may thumbs downs for your comments. What exactly do people find offensive - or is it just a retarded neantherdal mindset that is entrenched in the minds of so called "educated" people?

  • eisan - 2011-09-20 07:48

    may his soul rest in peace.

  • SharlzM - 2011-09-20 08:02

    I'm Shaun's sister and i would just like to clarify - He was an asthmatic and a combination of this and the amount of venom inhaled as he was spat from very close ultimately caused his death.

      Felix - 2011-09-20 08:58

      Condolences to you and your family through this hard time. :(

      Ron-ny - 2011-09-20 09:21

      my heartfelt condolences to you and your family, may he rest in piece. I'm sure he loved what he did.

      loftycrane - 2011-09-20 09:27

      Thanks for clarifying Sharizm.

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 09:53

      My sincere condolences to you and your family. May he rest in peace and please do not let these negative comments get to you. The entire SA snake community mourns with you.

      Gungets Tuft - 2011-09-20 10:51

      Sharlene - thanks for the clarity and condolences to everyone.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:33

      Thanks for the clarification, my thoughts are with you and your family.

      Boomslang11 - 2011-09-20 14:05

      Hi SharlzM. You dont know me, but your brother and I had a few transactions. I bought two Boomslangs from him recently. My sincere condolences to you and the rest of your family. Shaun will be sorely missed.

  • henk - 2011-09-20 08:13

    O yea, the snakehuggers are all out in force today.!! To everyone that says that snakes is not dangerous/ doesnt just attack: I live on a farm in the Tzaneen area and we encounter huge, angry snakes in and around our house all the time. 2 meter long black mamba on coutch under cushion. Hissing and spitting rinkhals in securitygate frame. Countless others in the house and a fat puffadder in the lapa. None of them looked too happy to see us in our own house (what is it with the hissing, spitting and biting anyways?? ) We try to negotiate with the snakes but they kinda have a kill or be killed attitude on life. So we kill them!! Point is: Snakes doesnt belong in a house, especialy 89 of them!!!! Besides being dangerous to the keeper, it is also dangerous to the neighbours, should something go wrong and some of the snakes escape. Snakes are deadly creatures, so dont cry for me, Argentina, when one kills you..... its kinda what they do. ( no disrespect intended, just cant stand stupiddity!!)

      Foreigner - 2011-09-20 08:37

      Trust me, you don't sommer just buy a snake permit. Secondly, we (as human beings) move into their habitats, and then call them intruders, and kill them only because they don't have a great big fat union who can protect them via land reform! Next time you kill a snake (+87% of all accidental snake bites happen when people are killing a snake: just FIY) and it bites you: "Where do you think anti-venom comes from?" From people who went through years of trouble to get Qualifications (with a capital Q) and PERMITS (note: all capitals) to keep them, and develop the anti-venom. Maybe we should make a blacklist of people like you who do not qualify for any anti-venom, how would you feel?

      henk - 2011-09-20 09:05

      Trust you?? Hell no, you play with snakes, i dont feel any trust there!!! As for us humans entering their habitat, that is just a k*k way to reason. Also my grandmother and mother taught me to kill a snake, as they were normaly home when these reptiles made their apearance in and around the house. Are you going to tell me that they were wrong in protecting their home (4 kids and 3 dogs running around) by killing these slithering intruders? ((After all, that house is my mothers natural habitat...)) I am all for doing research in a controled enviroment, but there is too many people out there that thinks any wild animal is a pet, even with qualifications and permits. (note; capital letters dont scare me.)

      henk - 2011-09-20 09:12

      You are not my english teacher, so go suck face with a mamba! Get as angry and insulting as you want but that wont stop me from killing snakes you stupid snakehugger.

      Flee - 2011-09-20 09:22

      Henk.... and we should trust you, you negotiate with snakes?? Is that in business or the wild?? I say leave the snakes be and they will in turn forget about you... Simple..

      henk - 2011-09-20 09:28

      flee, i never said you should trust me, now did i?? ;-)

      charlesaduplessis - 2011-09-20 09:29

      With you Henk.. Now these guys won't go an feed a lion would they or any other wild animal.. Also the same problem with the shark huggers.. they feed them to take pictures and thus make them asociate humans with food.. if you want pictures of wild animals go to the zoo or Aquarium, there things are controlled and oh yes there the antivenom etc can be made.. How would you feel if a snake kills your two year old???? Not an nice thought hey and you could have avoided it by NOT keeping that snake in the house..

      henk - 2011-09-20 09:42

      Charlesaduplessis; People just dont get that... our neighbours daugter (18 months old at the time) was bitten by a mamba that slithered into her cot while she was sleeping. She survived but she has had many painfull opperations to repair the hole in the flesh on her arm. And still people want me to believe that i need to tolerate these creatures?? (sorry if my spelling is offending anyone, cant seem to find spelcheck on news24)

      JJ - 2011-09-20 09:45

      I just try to stay as far away from any snake (unless it's caged) as possible...haha..that's why I have never even been to the Kruger Wildtuin :) Might sound stupid, but I honestly don't know what I will do if I ever have to endure meeting an angry snake face to face..but on the other hand if one ever threatens the life of either of my children, I won't hesitate protecting my kids....Of course I don't hate snakes , but I do fear them.....We once had an angry Rinkhals in our Suburban Home in JHB, (luckilly I was asleep) & it was ready to attack my mom...the flying squad/metro killed it with a panga - I suppose when you don't know / understand snakes you might feel that is the only way you can defend yourself...

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 09:58

      Maybe you should get rid of all the snakes on your farm, and then you can deal with the influx of rodents that will eat you out of house and home. Snakes are more afraid of us, that is why they get defensive. You say snakes are deadly creatures, I say humans are the most vile species on earth!!!

      Flee - 2011-09-20 10:46

      Henk Dont you think that all animals in some way or another Tolerate us.. regardless of the fact that we take their habitat and totally demolish their natural way of living?? Just asking..

      Gungets Tuft - 2011-09-20 11:07

      And once you have killed them all you then have to start killing all the rodents which multiply out of control because their natural predator has been wiped out. PS - when one of you DOES get bitten, and the anti-venom saves your life, then give a little thank you to people like Shaun Moolman who contributed to the medicine that saves you.

      ivory - 2011-09-20 11:14

      Henk, I just had a laugh reading all these comments on your post. Leave this foreigner dude!! Next time you see a vicious, angry, hissing snake, keep it and call foreigner so he can fetch the snake and hug it at his home. If I see a snake I'll definitely kill it, I don't have time to google whether this or that snake is dangerous or not...

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:48

      Snake huggers? Disrespect achieved, wether not intended or not. I also live on a Lowveld farm - plenty snakes, but you learn to live with them - they do a lot of good for me as a farmer - I prefer snakes to rats!

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:52

      I do agree with you re keeping wild animals as pets though Henk. Oh Henk, my mom and dad also taught me a lot of things when I was a child, but when I grew up I developed my own opinions on what right and wrong are. Don't be conned into thinking "alles wat pa gese het was reg".

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 15:57

      Hi henk, you know there are so much you can do to keep them of the property, out of the yard. Tell me if this sounds familiar, I find a parrot/horse/sheep/pig/dog/cat in my yard, and lets say I hate them all, so I kill them all. and maybe you should get rid of the rats first, then there is no reason for snakes to come into your yard in the first place, snakes don't like a clean places, they are to exposed so what dump are you living in? one more thing, snakes have venom for one main reason, to feed, they will not use their venom if they don't feel like their lives are being threatened. It is like you parking on the beach and suddenly there is one huge elephant bull charging you, if you have a gun, you will shoot maybe not at it first but if it doesn't stop you will shoot it. aka... the hissing and hooding, to make themselves known, and to let you know to leave them alone, they can cause damage. Reptiles have been on this planet for longer than the human race existed.

      Arries - 2011-09-20 16:18

      @Henk: "hole in the flesh on her arm" from a mamba... Jup, you just won your noddy badge. And judging from your attitude towards reptiles, I assume you are one of those "manly" men that will pose with the giant, deadly, 40cm herald snake you just killed. I will be singing with joy the day you get tagged (because you will) by a snake whilst trying to kill it!

      Ark - 2011-10-21 10:48

      Henk, Extremely ignorant people like you make people like us look extremely intelligent. Thanks for that, keep up the good work.

  • DeonL - 2011-09-20 08:14

    Poison could also enter through your eyes. It has been well documented that some people got STD's into theire brain's by using someone else's urine to clear "pink eyes". This sounds like a very unlucky guy. RIP.

  • blaze - 2011-09-20 08:15

    you dont f&%$ with nature.

  • blaze - 2011-09-20 08:16

    1000 ways to die.

      Whitepig - 2011-09-20 08:55 have no manners at all and you just proved that you and intelligence can't be placed in one sentence. Your fellow humans are mourning and you prefer to insult?! Hope this has proved to most whites that having a computer in front of you does not mean one is intelligent...

  • pommie-abroad - 2011-09-20 08:36

    Well there you go then, the chap was asthmatic,so all the other idiotic remarks can stop. A man died persuing his passion in life, i'd rather die doing something i love than in some smelly hospital bed. I also rescue dangerous snakes from rural communities and love doing it AND RECOGNIZE THE RISKS!!!! R.I.P CHAP!!

      Foreigner - 2011-09-20 08:55

      Hear hear, Thank you for a proper, great and relevant contribution!

  • Whitepig - 2011-09-20 08:46

    What did I say about waiting for the same old rhetoric?! read @Foreigner's comments. The ANC has nothing to do with what the poor family is going through,, instead of passing condolences, he/she prefers to be out of line...typical! I thought for a change bloggers have something else to talk about besides the ANC...then guess what, BANG there it goes again..MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!

      Foreigner - 2011-09-20 09:24

      @Whitepig: "Your fellow humans are mourning and you prefer to insult?" Yes, I prefer to insult those whose comments are insulting by themselves to this article! I am a snake handler myself, and know it could just as well have been me, and one day probably will be me, but referring to Pommie-abroad's comment, it was "his passion in life", and others should not make fun of it and "brag" how they kill snakes! As for the comments about ANC - I deeply regret posting them onto this article, and KNOW how you feel, but I guess I needed the assurance that there are more people who feel the way I do.. (about the same old rhetoric) Thank you for your comment on that, I say greatest condolences to his family and friends...

  • Nkunzemnyama - 2011-09-20 08:52

    snakes and other wild animals are meant to be free. snakes ware not meant to be kept in boxes. these are the results of men interfering with nature. it is understandable if this is done for medical purposes.

      Bettysue - 2011-09-20 09:34

      I agree - everything has it's place and certain animals should be left in their natural habitat.

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 11:54

      what you say is true, but lets put a scenario at this, lets say got bit by a puff adder, they will need anti-venom to most likely save your life never mind your limbs, where do you think anti-venom comes from? Take a day to think this over.

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:58

      I agree with you re keeping them as pets. Keeping the poor critters imprisoned for life in shoe box sized tanks. I have mates that keep snakes and say they "love" them, but I doubt they think very deeply about the cruel conditions they are kept in. Love is blind?

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 14:00

      gartersnake - refer to Nkunzemnyama's last sentence - it covers your query on anti venom ..........

      Bettysue - 2011-09-20 14:50

      @gartersnake - take your the last sentence of Mkunzemnyama's comment. Think about it...let it sink in.... Soooo - lets say you do get 'bit' by a puff adder - lets hope that someone can save your life. *sigh*

  • Tuinman - 2011-09-20 08:59

    Live by the snake, die by the snake....

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 11:56


  • ohannah - 2011-09-20 09:09

    It's impossible to die from having venom spat at you; possibly he had an open cut and the venom got in that way....

      pommie-abroad - 2011-09-20 09:26

      Try telling his greiving relatives it's impossible. He had an uderlying medical condition that aggrevated the symptoms...follow the thread before posting nonsense!!

  • Marete Marete - 2011-09-20 09:17

    Snakes are not toys to play with!! Harsh lesson.

      MissGremlinSays - 2011-09-20 10:06

      He wasn't keeping them as toys. He worked in the industry, he had permits, he took his snake handling very seriously. He was asthmatic, and unfortunately inhaled venom as the snake spat. His lungs shut down, and he died. Not from *stupidity* or *playing*.

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 10:09

      Neither are dogs.

  • King - 2011-09-20 09:21

    Ek is k*k bang of snakes. Sleeping with 87 snakes in the house is my ultimate nightmare. Nevermind that I'm the bravest Zulu king of all. Snakes generally make me k*k my loinskins.

  • patrickb - 2011-09-20 09:24

    yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Wild animals should be left in their natural habitat. They are not here for our amusement, and he deserved what he got.

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 10:04

      Tell people who keep dogs, cats, fish, etc the same thing. All captive animals were once wild. There's a big difference between wild and captive bred.

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 10:10

      And who are you to say he was deserving of his type of death, don't forget, you don't know how you are going to die.

      patrickb - 2011-09-20 10:53

      For the record: I do not believe that people should have any pets. Animals should be left to their own devices. If you play with fire, you will be burned. He had 89 poisonous snakes!!!!!!!! What a surprise that he died in this fashion. This man was an idiot.

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 11:01

      you dumb ass!

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 11:38

      I like pets more than I like most people, especially people like you. If people never took risks we would not have many of the things we consider necessities today. The man was very experienced in snake handling, he was not bitten by the snake, an allergic reaction to the venom was something that could not be foreseen. I could call you an idiot for traveling in a car or taxi to work everyday because people die in cars on the road. You are the idiot here, and a narrow minded one at that!

      patrickb - 2011-09-20 12:13

      Rishaad: 1. If you relate better to animals, then you have serious issues that I hope you can overcome. Good luck. 2. As far as taking risks are concerned, life is a risk, we all know that. Playing with 89 poisonous snakes however is moronic. 3. "experienced snake handler" what exactly does that contribute to society. This is one man's silly hobby. 4. "this could not be foreseen"....really? You are even more stupid than I thought! 5. Your car analogy is so ridiculous, I will not even comment on that. 6. How a very healthy respect for animals makes me narrow minded......yawn!

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 13:16

      *Note to self Rishaad* Never argue with idiots, they will bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

      Boomslang11 - 2011-09-20 14:16

      a) No one deserves to die. b) Shaun did not play with snakes. He bred them. c) His contribution to society - saving the lives of idiots who do get bitten out of stupidity. d) BTW it is venomous snakes not poisonous snakes - I am sure you will be poisonous to a venomous snake.

  • SPYKOS - 2011-09-20 09:27


      Bettysue - 2011-09-20 09:33


      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 10:00

      I wonder if you would pour boiling water on a dog you are scared of. I am scared of you, maybe I should pour boiling water over you! Delinquent!

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 11:03

      I have some boiling water, to pour on you!

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 14:01

      Why torture the creature just because you're scared of it? You're a sicko!

  • Great White - 2011-09-20 09:29

    Another Darwin Award nominee.

      Arries - 2011-09-20 16:23

      Indeed you are Great White...

  • Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 09:29

    There is a possibility that this person went into anaphylaxis due to an allergic reaction to the venom. Lets not forget a bee or wasp can cause the same reaction in someone who is allergic. Another possibility is that he was treated incorrectly at the scene. Antivenom can also cause anaphylaxis and if not reversed properly a person can also go into anaphylaxis and die. Some people here clearly have an obscured knowledge of snakes which they believe to be fact. Cobras cannot see heat as they do not have heat pits. The reason you needed to warm up the frozen rodents (microwaving it is not a good idea either as snakes cannot digest cooked meat) is because if a snake consumes a frozen rodent its body would become too cold and it could die from thermal shock. Another reason for warming up rodents before feeding a captive snake is that this will release more scent making the snake more interested in the food. Some say he is stupid, did you ever stop to think that maybe he had no idea that he was allergic to the said venom, how would you know whether you are allergic to bee venom unless you get stung? Maybe the next time you have a venomous snake in your house and a wrangler comes to assist, you should try calling him stupid, I am sure he will be very keen on assisting you. Lets not forget that if we didnt have people who work with dangerous animals we will not know what we know now about them. Scientists are discovering more medical uses for venom which have health benefits for us.

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 10:58

      Well said!

  • Ugly-Kid-Joe - 2011-09-20 09:44

    is the snake ok?

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 11:01


  • psebetlela - 2011-09-20 10:16

    ds is wht happens2pple who think are clever dn evr1 and cn defy nature.leave wild reptiles & animals where they de wild.dump ass.

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 10:59

      this is not facebook or mixit use English please.

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 11:07

      Is that even English you are typing? You shouldn't be allowed anywhere close to a computer. Dogs and other commonly kept pets were also once wild! The only dumb ass here is you!

  • Roger 01 - 2011-09-20 10:21

    I agree, you are all right!

  • gartersnake - 2011-09-20 10:54

    R.I.P Shaun we will all miss you. This was an exceptional freak accident. He was a snake handler like no other a master in the least. So far what we have been told is that the venom entered the body through the mouth, he had an allergic reaction to the venom to such an extend that he suffocated. he was declared dead at 6:00pm on Sunday evening.

      Flee - 2011-09-20 11:34

      Garter... The link does not go through??

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 11:47

      RIP to him and heartfelt condolences to his family. His death should not be in vain and we should also learn from it. We should now take more precaution when handling spitters and maybe use more protection as an allergic reaction is something difficult to foresee or test for.

      gartersnake - 2011-09-20 12:00

      go to and search for it. Not sure why the link doesn't work.

  • Michelle G - 2011-09-20 12:27

    you live by the sword you die by the sword

  • carjan - 2011-09-20 12:41

    The best snake is a dead snake

      Rishaad Ally - 2011-09-20 13:18

      I'm sure God, who created snakes shares your view!

      ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 14:03

      carjan - you must be another brain surgeon...

      Arries - 2011-09-20 16:26

      the best carjan is a carjan that died from trying to kill said snake...

  • ChumScrubber - 2011-09-20 13:08

    Seems he did not even handle it, it just spat on him. Never heard of a snake killing anyone by spitting before - surely there must be more to this story?

  • Boer81 - 2011-09-20 13:15

    play with fire and you will get with snakes and you will be bitten...

  • Spirit Soul - 2011-09-20 13:29

    The snake did not like paparazzi!

  • Boomslang11 - 2011-09-20 14:11

    How many of these guys and girls making negative remarks are smokers? Or drive cars? What you are doing is 20000 more likely to kill you than being BITTEN by a venomous snake.

  • gadley - 2011-09-23 12:17

    It is highly unlikely that the spat venom killed this man. He was an asthma sufferer and went anaphylactic shock and died, the same way people do when they are stung by a bee. He was highly experienced, however this was an unfortunate accident with dire consequences.

  • stephnie.mariemuthoo - 2012-03-16 13:16

    @PunkBuster - When threatened, the red spitting cobra rears up and displays a long narrow hood. It may also hiss loudly. If the intruder does not retreat, it may sprays twin jets of venom to the face of the intruder. Venom that gets into the eyes can cause burning pain and blindness. Even so, this snake seldom causes fatalities in humans

  • Sanele - 2012-03-28 14:32

    why on earth was he collecting snakes in the first place. he asked for it!!!

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-03-28 16:01

    He must have been spat in the eyes for the venom to have taken effect.

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