Here’s a human interest story from The Daily Mail. As the old saying goes, What would we do without the Daily Mail?
Today’s story comes to us from India. It concerns a teenager named Somnath Mhatre. Aged eighteen he decided that he loved all of God’s creatures, but that he especially loved snakes. He chose to become a snake rescuer, saving defenseless animals from murderous humans.
One day, young Mhatre was so overcome with affection for a cobra he just saved that he, suffused with adolescent spontaneity, gave the snake a kiss. It was not the first time that he had kissed a snake. Unfortunately, it was the last.
Now, you want to know whether the little critter had returned the kiss. It did, but it went one better: it bit him. And not in the good sense of the word.
The Daily Mail picks up the story:
A teenager has died after he was bitten by a cobra while kissing it for a photo stunt.
Volunteer snake rescuer Somnath Mhatre, 18, plucked the cobra from a car in a bid to take it to a safe place.
But when he posed for a photo attempting to peck the snake on the head, the hooded animal turned on him, sinking its fangs into his chest.
The teenager was rushed to hospital in Navi Mumbai, India, where he fought for his life, but died five days later.
A fellow snake rescuer, who didn't want to be named, said: 'Somnath had gone to rescue a snake from a car at central business district Belapur.
'But after successfully rescuing the cobra, he took it to another location where was attempting to record his act of kissing the cobra on its head.
'It was during that photo-op the snake suddenly turned and bit Mhatre on his chest.'
Animal lover Mhatre - who had rescued more than 100 snakes - died on February 2.
Activists are now calling on the Forest Department to issue guidelines to take action against those involved in performing and posting pictures of stunts involving snakes.
Now, tragically, the world has one less animal lover.
The newspaper happily offers us a picture of Mahtre kissing another snake: