A BRITISH snake breeder was killed by a bite from one of his king cobras – days after he boasted they would not harm him, The Sun reported today.
Luke Yeomans, 45, suffered a heart attack Wednesday in the central English town of Eastwood after the bite from the deadly reptile injected venom into his bloodstream.
Yeomans, who was planning to open his king cobra sanctuary of 24 snakes to the public this weekend, had insisted he was perfectly safe handling them.
He posed for a picture while kissing a cobra on the back of the head – despite their fearsome reputation as one of the most dangerous snake breeds.
Yeomans said, “They know that I provide them with fresh food and water and so they are not going to go out of their way to do harm to me when I do no harm to them whatsoever. People do say that I am mad. I think everything I am doing is good. I am maintaining this breeding colony of king cobras as a safety net – to protect the species from possible extinction.”
Yeomans, whose daughter helped him at the sanctuary, had bred the endangered Asian king cobras for 30 years. He was known locally as the “Steve Irwin of Eastwood” after the Australian TV animal adventurer who was killed by a stingray.
Paramedics found Luke’s body at the sanctuary, which was behind his home. Police said the killer snake had been contained and the public were in no danger.
A neighbor said, “It’s a complete shock. Luke was famous round here for his snakes. He’d kept them since a boy and had so much experience handling them. He’d think nothing of picking them up and wrapping them around him.”