Snake-catching fireman dies after cobra bite

He served in the Temerloh Fire and Rescue Department for the past decade, giving training sessions on how to identify and handle snakes, Malay publication The Star Online reported, a common task for firefighters in the country.

Malaysia's famed 'snake whisperer' has finally met his match after dying on Friday following a cobra snake biting him earlier in the week.

He was pictured in photos and videos widely circulated online kissing king cobra snakes on the mouth, and appeared on TV show Asia's Got Talent previous year rubbing his nose against a serpent's head.

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.

According to local news outlet The Star, the 33-year-old who lived in the state of Pahang, often taught other firemen how to identify different snake species and ways to capture them without having to kill.

He later told the BBC he was "very disappointed" by the fake reports.

"The snakes are with me so that I can observe their behaviour", he explained.

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.

He tried his luck in the "Asia's Got Talent" competition past year but failed to win over the judges with his risky snake feat. His daring act earned the name the "snake whisperer".

Abu Zarin had been bitten by snakes several times before and even spent two days in a coma after being bitten by a cobra in 2015.

Unfortunately, Hussin's luck ran out when he was bitten by a poisonous king cobra during a snake-catching operation in Bentong.

Vanessa Coleman