14-year-old snake collector bitten by pet cobra, uploads photos on social media before dying

14-year-old Indonesian boy Aril’s pet cobra. Photo: Detik
14-year-old Indonesian boy Aril’s pet cobra. Photo: Detik

A 14-year-old boy from Bandung Regency, West Java, identified by his nickname “Aril,” died after getting bitten by his own pet cobra last week, with the teen inadvertently documenting the crucial moments that led to his death on social media.

Aril uploaded a couple of photos to WhatsApp’s Status feature on the morning of Dec. 11, which were obtained by Detik. The first photo, which had a time stamp of 9:50pm (it was later determined in media reports that the incident actually occurred at 9:50am), shows Aril’s cobra widening its hood in an aggressive stance after the teen tried to take a photo of his pet after bathing it, giving it the caption, “Why don’t you smile a little?”

Photo: Detik

Four minutes later, another photo was uploaded, showing a bloody bite mark on Aril’s arm with the caption, “Between life and death.”

Photo: Detik

Aril’s mother, Neuis Marpuah, said his son was home alone at the time as she was at work while her husband was abroad, so there was no one to immediately help him following the bite.

“Aril made the status not to show off, but to ask for help from his friends. Because no one came, he later wrote the status, ‘If anyone feels like they’re my friend, please take me to the hospital,’” she said, as quoted by Detik yesterday.

Some of his friends eventually did come to take him to the hospital at about 11am. Sadly, Aril passed away at 10pm that same day.

Aril was an avid snake collector who owned more than a dozen of the slithering reptiles. He was also active in communities for reptile owners in Bandung that often organize dangerous street attractions involving venomous snakes in order to raise money for disaster victims.

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