Filipino ‘Snake Man’ Bernardo Alvarez, 62, died after being bitten by cobra while appearing to try and kiss its lips after it slithered into his neighbourhood and he ‘tamed’ it.
A Filipino ‘Snake Man’ who claimed to be immune to venom died after a cobra bit him on the tongue as he tried to kiss it.
Bernardo Alvarez, 62, caught the killer Northern Philippine Cobra after it slithered through the snake wrangler’s neighbourhood in Mangaldan town, Pangasinan province on July 9.
Neighbour’s cheered for Bernardo for managing to ‘tame’ another deadly creature.
However, while he showed off the snake to onlookers, Bernardo cheekily held the cobra close to his lips like he was trying to kiss it before the cobra lunged at his mouth and bit his tongue.
He screamed in pain before dropping the cobra then collapsed and died shortly after while waiting for medics to arrive.
Angry locals also killed the snake.
Provincial Health Officer Dr Anna de Guzman said: “The snake’s venom can cause paralysis which is what happened to the snake man.
“This paralysis could can stop the breathing of the victim, affect the flow of oxygen in the body, and eventually stop the beating of the heart.”
Medics rushed to revive Bernardo but he was no longer responsive and his body was already stiff from the effect of the venom.
Bernardo’s sister Teresa Oca said: “A policeman and a doctor arrived to check on him and told us he had no pulse so they tried to revive him.”
“They were not successful since the cobra’s venom was too strong. We don’t know how we could accept what happened to him.”
Funeral arrangements were done by Bernardo’s family at their home. He was set to be buried this week.
The Northern Philippine Cobra is widely recognised as one of the most venomous snakes in the world. Its toxins directly attack the respiratory system of its victims so a single bite could be extremely deadly.
By Marjo Malubay
Ryan Merrifield – Reporter