BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Saturday, 2 December 2006, 09:21 GMT
Bite kills Malaysia 'Snake King'
By Jonathan Kent
BBC News, Kuala Lumpur

King cobra (file image)
Mr Ali Khan had been bitten by cobras many times
A snake charmer who made a name for himself as Malaysia's Snake King has died after being bitten by a king cobra.

Ali Khan Samsudin, 48, had entered the record books for locking himself in small spaces with hundreds of snakes or scorpions for days at a time.

The old adage "once bitten twice shy" simply did not apply to Mr Ali Khan.

According to local press reports, he had his first altercation with a king cobra 27 years ago.

So when, on Tuesday, one of his subjects inflicted what was just the latest of many bites, he had not been unduly worried.

However, two days later, his condition worsened suddenly and his family rushed him to hospital. He died before he could receive treatment.

Ali Khan Samsudin found fame in the early 1990s when he lived for 12 hours a day for 40 days in a small room with 400 cobras.

That earned him the title of Snake King.

In 1997, he acquired another record - Scorpion King - after shutting himself in a box with 6,000 of the creatures for three weeks.

He was reportedly bitten 99 times in his life.

He leaves two wives, five children and a protege known as the Scorpion Queen, who he trained for her own record-breaking stunt two years ago.

Scorpion woman ends record stunt
25 Sep 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Malaysia
18 Oct 06 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific