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A SNAKE-swallowing daredevil has died after a viper bit his tongue and throat causing a horrific allergic reaction.
Video footage shows the farm worker, 55, performing in front of his workmates in a watermelon field in Astrakhan, Russia, where he traps the dangerous reptile in his mouth.
Reports say the man had twice before put the steppe viper further down his throat but on the third attempt, the snake bit his tongue.
While the snake is poisonous, its bite should not be lethal to humans.
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.
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.
“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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