Teenage boy dies just hours after posting photos of his pet cobra bite online
The 14-year-old, who is only known as Aril, hailed from the Bundung Regency in Indonesia's West Java province, where he lived with his mother Neuis Marpuah while his father worked abroad, as well as more than a dozen dangerous reptiles, which Aril collected for a number of different purposes.
The teenager was an active member of a non-government organisation that arranged dangerous shows and street performances that were designed to raise money for charities who are helping victims of natural disasters. He had had a lot of experience with those deadly reptiles, but earlier this month, disaster struck.
On December 11, Aril used the WhatsApp Status feature to post a series of photos, with the first of them being at 9.50 am local time. Aril had reportedly just given the king cobra a bath, and captioned it "senyum dikit napa", or "why not smile a little". The king cobra can be seen spreading its hood; a surefire indication that the deadly snake about to strike.
Just four minutes later, tragedy: Aril posted a photo of his arm, bloody and bitten after the cobra attacked. This time, the caption read "antara hidup dan mati", which means "between life and death". His mother revealed that with his father abroad and herself at work, Aril was left home alone, which explained what happened next.
"Aril made the status not to show off, but to ask for help from his friends. Because no one came, he later wrote the status, ‘If anyone feels like they’re my friend, please take me to the hospital.'"
Aril started posting frantic messages to his social media followers asking him to "take [him] to the hospital", and eventually, they were able to take him to hospital an hour later. Unfortunately, at around 10pm, he fell unconscious, and medical staff were unable to revive him, declaring him dead moments later.
Native to Southeast Asia, the king cobra is one of the deadliest snakes in the world, and measuring between 10 and 13 feet long, it's the longest poisonous snake in the world. Their venom is extremely fatal to humans (capable of killing within half an hour), where one bite can deliver between 200 and 500mg of venom, which means that a lot of anti venom is required to reverse the process.
The venom's toxins attack the victim's central nervous system, which eventually results in severe pain, blurred vision, vertigo, drowsiness, as well as eventually paralysis. The venom sends the victim into a coma, before they suffer heart and respiratory failure.
Although it is so deadly, the king cobra tends to focus more on rodents and smaller lizards and generally avoids confrontation with humans unless provoked. Rest in peace, Aril. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.