'Snake Man' Dies Of ... Snake Bite

A man who set a world record by spending 7 days locked up with poisonous snakes has died after a bite from a deadly mamba, a hospital reported on Monday.

Boonreung Bauchan, known as the "Snake Man," died on Friday, a day after he was bitten, said Dr. Wipha Praituen of Praibung hospital in the northeastern province of Si Sa Ket.

Wipha said Boonreung's relatives told her that Boonreung was showing villagers a new cobra when he was bitten. He took herbal medicine and a shot of whiskey, and continued with the show until he collapsed, the doctor said.

Wipah said Boonreung was bitten on the right elbow, and "the poison had spread throughout his body when he arrived at the hospital."

Boonreung, 34, won a mention in the Guinness book after spending seven days in an enclosure with snakes in 1998 to set a new world record.

Boonreung's family said he was the sole bread winner, supporting them with income from the snake shows, according to The Nation newspaper. It quoted his father, Pon, as saying that boxes of Boonreung's pet snakes were still at the house.

"They look fiercer now. So no one dares get closer to the boxes," he was quoted as saying. Pon said he would give the snakes to a zoo after his son's cremation on Wednesday.

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