A 33-year-old Malaysian firefighter, who was dubbed "the Snake Whisperer" died on Friday after he was bitten by a giant cobra, which he was hunting . Reports said that Abu Zarin Hussin passed away in hospital.
Abu, who has been bitten by his own pet King Cobras eight times, loved snakes. In 2017, the media reported that Abu had married his snakes, and although he denies these claims, his bond with his pets was a special one.
"No human can get married to a snake. That story is definitely false and I think the story got altered and twisted to suit people of different beliefs and culture. I'm only interested in humans when it comes to marriage," he told The Sun.
The young firefighter from Kelantan, Malaysia followed his father's footsteps and became a specialist snake handler in the fire service. He also headed the King Cobra Squad of his local fire department and taught his colleagues how to capture the reptiles without harming them.
Though his snakes have put his life in danger a number of times, Abu never thought of giving them up or felt afraid. Instead, he used to get more motivated to learn and teach his colleagues and others how to catch and tame snakes.
Abu said: "Snakes are wild species and we need time to get used to them and understand their characteristics to be able to tame them."
"I don't care if people call me crazy or stupid, I know what I'm doing. It is for the benefit of the public and the Fire Department," he added.
However, apart from educating other people, Abu used to make sure that all the safety precautions are followed before anyone is allowed to click pictures or "pet" his perilous pets: King, Chip and Cik Din.
"I take my cobras to participate in training courses for taming snakes at the Fire Department Training Centre. I also lead awareness briefings on the dangers of snakes to the public," Abu said.
Last year, reports said that Abu had ended up in a coma twice over snake bites. But, still he had no intention of ever giving up his venomous snakes. However, Abu accepts that snake handling is not for the fainthearted.
"The pain from a snake bite is very severe to the point that you can't even describe it," he said. "The worst bite would have to be the eighth time. I did not realise that the snake was bleeding from its head."
"I tried touching the wound on its head and it bit me right away. It took ten seconds for the snake to let me go. On the way to the hospital, bubbles started coming out of my mouth and a few moments later I was unconscious," Abu continued.
"The doctor confirmed that I was not going to make it because the venom had spread to my heart. After being in a coma for two days I woke up. I am considered lucky to still be alive," he added.
But, it seems that Abu's luck finally ran out and he was fatally beaten by a cobra when he was called out to a snake catching operation in Bentong.
"The Snake Whisperer", as Abu is popularly called, rose to fame when he was clicked kissing a King Cobra, one of several 14 ft snakes. He said that he even played football and read bedtime stories with it.