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Indonesian Pop Star Irma Bule Dies After King Cobra Used as Stage Prop Bites Her

The king cobra's handler apparently had antivenin on hand but she refused treatment.

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A popular singer in Indonesia has died after she was bitten by a king cobra during a performance and refused to get treatment. Pop star Irma Bule, 29, who uses king cobras (Ophiophagus hannah), reticulated pythons (Python reticulatus), boa constrictors, and other snakes as part of her act was bitten by a king cobra  during a performance in West Java, Indonesia, according to Coconuts Jakarta.  

Bule was in the middle of her second song when she was bitten on her thigh after stepping on the tail of the venomous snake. The handler of the king cobra apparently had antivenin on hand but she refused treatment and continued to sing for another 45 minutes before the effects of the venom caught up with her. She apparently began to have seizures and vomited, and was taken to the hospital where she died. 


Bule’s musical genre is known as dangdut, which Coconuts Jakarta says employs props on stage along with the singing. Apparently Bule’s prop of choice were snakes. A video on Youtube shows Bule singing with the snakes, and most reptile keepers wouldn’t  be impressed with how she handled the animals on stage.