Snake swallower dies after viper bites his tongue during stunt causing fatal allergic reaction

  • Agriculture worker died after a viper bit his tongue causing an allergic reaction
  • Video shows the worker, 55, putting the viper in his mouth to perform a ‘trick’
  • Reports said that this was the unnamed melon farmer’s third attempt at the stunt
  • Efforts by doctors at Kharabalinskiy district hospital in Russia failed to save him

A snake-swallower died after a viper bit his tongue causing a horrific allergic reaction.

Video shows the agriculture worker, aged 55, putting the viper in his mouth to perform a ‘trick’ for workmates in a watermelon field in Astrakhan region.

Reports say the man had twice before put the steppe viper further down his throat but on the third attempt, seen in the footage, the snake bit his tongue.

While the snake is poisonous, its bite should not be lethal to humans.


An agriculture worker, aged 55, died after a viper bit his tongue while he put it in his mouth (left and right) mto perform a ‘trick’ for workmates in a watermelon field in Astrakhan region

But a few hours later the unnamed melon farmer was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with Quincke’s edema after his tongue and throat swelled after an ‘allergic reaction’.

He was reported to have suffered anaphylactic shock.

His tongue ‘could barely fit in his mouth’ and he was left gasping for breath, said one report.

Frantic efforts by doctors at Kharabalinskiy district hospital failed to save him, according to Antrakhan 24.

Reports said snake-swallowing is a popular trick among locals.

News outlet Punkt-A confirmed via a local herpetologist that the snake was a steppe viper found among the stems of picked watermelons.


Reports say the man had twice before put the steppe viper further down his throat but on the third attempt, seen in the footage (left and right), the snake bit his tongue

‘The steppe viper is poisonous, but only insects can truly fear it,’ said the report.

‘For humans, the poison is not dangerous.’

The agricultural worker ‘died solely from an allergic reaction similar to what may occur with a wasp sting’.

The report urged locals to refrain from swallowing snakes.

‘You just should not try to swallow a snake or carry out any other experiments if you are not sure that it may end up in an unfavourable way for you.’

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