A man who became a household name in India after rescuing 50,000 snakes is fighting for his life after being bitten by a cobra.
Vava Suresh, 48, has suffered over 250 snake bites during his daring rescues but was rushed to Kottayam hospital in Kerala after being bitten by a 10-foot viper last week.
Residents of Kurichi in Kottayam said Suresh was bitten while he was putting the serpent into a bag after saving it before he was taken to hospital and placed on a ventilator.
One resident said: "We were in tears… despite the bite, he managed to put the snake in the gunny back safely. He became unconscious after a few minutes."
Reports say doctors have previously warned him that snake antivenom has little effect on him due to the number of bites he has suffered.
In 2005, he lost his right index finger after a cobra bit him and on another occasion lost the movement of his right wrist after another bite.
Snake antivenom and toxins have already damaged his liver and skin.
Suresh became a household name after spending the last 20 years responding to calls to capture snakes and release them into the wild.
According to the Hindustan Times, he is known for his knowledge of snakes and has even used his expert opinion in a criminal case after a husband was convicted for killing his wife by having a snake bite her while she was sleeping in Kollam.
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Prince Charles met Suresh back in 2013 during his visit to Kerala and described him as a 'living wonder' after he had reached a record of over 175 king cobras, the most venomous snakes, rescued.
The Prince of Wales said: “Even an elephant dies in an hour after the bite of a king cobra. How did you save so many kings cobras?
"You are a living wonder and I salute your love for your reptilian friends."
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