A snake expert who claimed to be immune to venom has been killed by a cobra after it bit him when he tried to kiss it.
Bernardo Alvarez, 62, was killed by the Northern Philippine Cobra in Pangasinan while his terrified neighbours watched on.
He had caught the snake in Mangaldan on July 9 and claimed to have tamed the deadly creature.
But as he showed off the snake to onlookers, Alvarez held the cobra close to his lips, pretending to kiss it.
The snake lunged forward and bit Alvarez on the tongue, causing him to collapse, screaming with pain.
Bernardo Alvarez, 62, a snake expert who claimed to be immune to venom, has been killed by a cobra after it bit him when he tried to kiss it
Police and medics rushed to revive the snake expert but said he was no longer responsive when they arrived.
He was pronounced dead at the scene and doctors said his body was already stiff from the effect of the venom.
Alvarez’s sister 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.’
Police and medics rushed to revive the snake expert but said he was no longer responsive and his body was already stiff from the venom when they arrived
Alvarez caught the snake in Mangaldan on July 9 and claimed to have tamed the deadly creature. He was showing neighbours the animal when it fatally bit him
His family have arranged a small funeral at this home and will bury the body later this week.
Angry locals 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.’
The Northern Philippine Cobra is widely recognised as one of the deadliest snakes in the world.
The venom attacks the victim’s respiratory system, meaning a single bite can be fatal.
Angry locals killed Northern Philippine Cobra after medics had pronounced Alvarez dead