Cobra bites are lethal and can kill in minutes. Photo: iStock.
Cobra bites are lethal and can kill in minutes. Photo: iStock.

An unlicensed snake hunter in India died from a cobra bite last week after taking the captured reptile to a bar and playing with it while he was drunk.

Hanumanthappa, 55, had been playing with the cobra he captured in Anekal, Bangalore, when the snake bit his left thumb, The Times of India reported. He died within 10 minutes.

Earlier that day, staff at an engineering company found a cobra in their offices. Office security called Hanumanthappa, who locals said was a snake-catcher. He quickly caught the snake and put it in a plastic bag.

On his way home, Hanumanthappa stopped at a bar in the Jigani area and got drunk. He took out the snake and started playing with it in the bar. Witnesses told local police that the snake became irritated and bit the man’s left thumb, which killed him in 10 minutes.

According to police, locals said the man often claimed his body was immune to the venom and he had caught more than 1,000 snakes.

Despite warnings from the local forest department, he continued to catch snakes without authorization. Officials say more and more unlicensed snake catchers are being killed by snake bites, with almost 19 cases filed in the past few months.