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Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 10:54 GMT 11:54 UK
Scorpion Queen sets record
Nor Malena Hassan with scorpions
Nor Malena Hassan suffered two serious stings
A Malaysian woman has lived up to her reputation as "Scorpion Queen" by spending 30 days in a glass case with thousands of scorpions.

Nor Malena Hassan started with 2,000 scorpions but after 19 days asked for 700 more to be added to increase the challenge.

They learn to trust you, you become their friend

Nor Malena Hassan
The 24-year-old left the 12-square-metre (130-square-foot) case for just 15 minutes a day to use the bathroom and survived seven stings, two of them serious.

Now she has a place in the Malaysian Book of Records.

"I am really happy that I was successful in my attempt, but I'm going to miss the scorpions," said Malena Hassan afterwards.

New pet

She carried out her stunt at Kelantan State Museum in the north-eastern town of Kota Baru. On Tuesday, the museum's chairman, Takiyuddin Hassan, rewarded her with a certificate.

Nor Malena Hassan with scorpion on her face
The self-styled Queen wanted more scorpions
Two weeks ago, Malaysian newspapers carried pictures of Malena apparently unconscious after suffering a serious sting.

But she said she had never thought of giving up.

"I'm particularly fond of two scorpions, and I named one of them Bob," she said. "They're like that - once you are around them long enough and they learn to trust you, you become their friend."

Malena said she would keep "Bob" as a pet, but the other scorpions are to be released into their natural environment.

The "Scorpion Queen" also specialises in handling poisonous snakes and regularly stages public shows with them.

"I will return to my regular performances with snakes after a one week holiday," she said.

Last year another Malaysian woman won a place for herself in local record books after spending 31 days living with 90 snakes.

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