Bali schoolgirl dies from deadly cobra bite

The 12-year old died hours after being bitten by the snake. Photo: Pxhere
The 12-year old died hours after being bitten by the snake. Photo: Pxhere

A 12-year old girl from Samplangan village in Gianyar died after being bitten by a snake, allegedly a cobra, in her sleep yesterday. Ismi Nursaubah was asleep in the back room of her parents’ warung (simple eatery) when she was abruptly awoken by the sting of the snake bite.

“At around 3 o’clock in the morning, my niece woke up because she was bitten by a snake. She didn’t cry at all, and even wanted to play,” said Ibrahim, the victim’s uncle, as quoted in Bali Post.

Because the girl seemed unfazed by the injury, Ibrahim didn’t think to treat the bite, which was reportedly on her hand. Instead, he went looking for the snake.

“After I caught it, I asked the girl’s mother what to do with it. She said, ‘Don’t kill it, let it live,’ because at that time my niece didn’t seem to be sick,” he said. So he squashed the 50cm-long creature into a bottle and dumped it into the Pakerisan River, an action that likely killed it anyway.

It was only a few hours later that Ismi started to show symptoms of sickness. At this point, the girl was taken to hospital where, according to Ibrahim’s account, she wasn’t treated swiftly enough.

“I saw the doctors busy chatting; some were playing on cell phones. If they can’t handle a patient, they should refer them to another hospital. If the situation had been handled properly, maybe my niece could have been saved,” Ibrahim said as quoted in Nusa Bali.

But, according to the director of the RS Husada Hospital, Dr. Made Koen Virawan, Ismi was already in a weakened state when she arrived at the hospital.

“The patient came in a state of shock and weakness… It’s late handling; the poison had already spread to the red blood cells,” he explained.

“If the victim had been dealt with shortly after being bitten by the snake, the outcome might have been different, he continued, as quoted by Nusa Bali.

Ismi’s body has been returned to her father’s hometown in Jembrana to be buried.

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