Thursday, June 30, 2011

'My king cobras would never hurt me': Snake breeder dies after being bitten by deadly reptile he boasted would never turn on him


Brave: Luke Yeomans bends down to kiss the snake on the head. He died after being bitten by one at home in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire

A snake breeder who boasted that his snakes would never harm him has died after being attacked by one of his deadly cobras.

Luke Yeomans, 47, suffered a heart attack after the snake bit him injecting its poisonous venom into his blood.

In a recent interview, the conservationist with 30 years experience insisted the reptiles would never harm him. He was even pictured bending down to kiss one king cobra on the back of the head.

The snake breeder - dubbed the local 'Steve Irwin' after the Australian wildlife presenter who was killed by a stingray - kept 24 reptiles in a 'sanctuary' compound behind his home in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, which he was planning on opening to the public this weekend.

Nottinghamshire Police said officers were called at around 2pm yesterday to a property in Eastwood but Mr Yeomans was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Yeomans was dubbed the local 'Steve Irwin' after the Australian wildlife presenter who was killed by a stingray. He kept 24 reptiles in a 'sanctuary' compound behind his house

His body was found in the compound where he kept the reptiles behind his house.
The snake was contained and the RSPCA, Health and Safety Executive and Broxtowe Borough Council were informed of the incident.

The King Cobra is the longest of all venomous snakes in the world, with the venom from a single bite being enough to kill an elephant.

Police seal off the entrance to the King Cobra Sanctuary in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, where Mr Yeomans died yesterday

In the local BBC television interview just days ago Mr Yeoman, 47, revealed his trust in his cobras and recalled previously being bitten.

He said: 'These king cobras know that I provide them with food, they know that I provide them with fresh water, so they are not going to go out of their way to do harm to me when I do no harm to them whatsoever.

'After being bitten once, on the way to the hospital I quite casually rang up the school of tropical medicine and spoke to the experts on anti venom, so when I got out of the car at the poisons unit I completely lost my legs, fell out of the car, but luckily there were two nurses waiting for me with the anti-venom, and they said don't worry.

'People do say that I'm mad, but it's better than people saying that you're bad, and I think everything I do is good.

'My life is about the conservation of the king cobra. Our breeding colony here is a safety net in case the king cobra becomes extinct.'

A local resident said: 'It's a complete shock. Everyone knew Luke kept cobras, but he so much experience we never expected anything like this to happen. He was a wonderful guy who was dedicated to snakes, and their welfare.'

Mr Yeomans started his King Cobra Sanctuary - which he claimed was the 'only one in the world' dedicated to the King Cobra - in 2008, in reaction to the depletion of the snake's natural habitat in the forests of south-east Asia and India.

'The King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah), an end of the line apex predator, is certainly one of them.

'With 30 years experience of the King Cobra, myself and my daughter Nicole - now in our third year of the project, will maintain a breeding colony of this large and dangerous, but also misunderstood venomous snake.'

source :dailymail

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Grants For Single Moms