JAKARTA, Indonesia – Irma Bule, an Indonesian singer, died on Sunday, April 3, after she was bitten by a Cobra on stage while performing. Bule kept on singing before she finally succumbed to the venom from the bite.
Bule, a 29-year-old artist, is known to interact with snakes and wear them around her neck while dancing on stage.
On Sunday night, Bule appeared on stage with a King Cobra during her performance in a village in Karawang, West Java.
The King Cobra however, was not defanged. After Bule sang one song, she accidentally stepped on the cobra, which then bit her leg.
“The accident happened while in the middle of the second song when Irma stepped on the snake’ s tail. The snake then bit Irma on her thigh,” audience member Ferlando Octavion Auzura, told local media.
Rather than screaming, Bule kept singing and even refused the antidote from the snake handler. But the witness said that after 45 minutes, she started vomitting and having seizures.
Police said they are still gathering information from the audience to investigate the incident.
The founder of Tulala Snake Research Center, Lydia Apririasari, told Rappler that dancing with snakes is very common in Indonesia, especially in villages. But instead of dancing with King Cobra, she suggested to dance with Elaphe flavolineata, Elaphe radiata or Gonyosoma oxychepala which are not venomous if it is really necessary.
Apririasari explained that the reason the bite took longer to kill Bule is that it was not close to the singer’s heart so there was not an immediate effect.
Commenting on the incident, she said that every snake would bite or attack people if they feel sick or threatened. She emphasized that dancing with a King Cobra is very dangerous.
“The cobra can kill an adult elephant and consume up to 1000 kg in 2 hours, let alone a singer who maybe weighs less than 60 kgs,” she said. – Rappler.com