A 53-year-old man has died after trying to consume venom from a snake, according to reports from Ghana.
The victim was identified as Musah Dzikpor from the town of Aflao, according to Outdoor Hub.
The incident occurred at a friend’s farm when Dzikpor attempted to take the venom from a decapitated snake’s head, witnesses explained. He hoped to gain immunity from certain diseases by so doing.
The snake had been discovered by a tractor driver, who noticed the reptile caught up in a plough. Because the snake acted aggressively, the driver cut off its head with a machete.
Dzikpor was one of a group of local residents who gathered to discuss what was to be done with the snake’s head. Practitioners of traditional medicine consider snake heads to be particularly valuable for their medicinal purposes.
After agreeing to take possession of it, Dzikpor allegedly sought to drink the venom directly from the snake’s mouth immediately, according to Ghana News Agency.
While some witnesses allege that Dzikpor was successful in obtaining venom from the dead reptile, others suggest that the snake’s head twitched when it was in Dzikpor’s mouth, sinking its fangs in to his tongue and transmitting the venom in to his bloodstream, Outdoor Hub reported.
Witnesses noted that the color of Dzikpor’s skin began to change quickly, and although he was rushed to hospital, he was dead within half an hour.
Although the belief that venom can be medically beneficial may at first appear strange, scientists have been investigating its properties for many years. According to Medical Daily, venom from certain breeds of snake has been found to have anti-bacterial properties. Toxins extracted from venom have been used to treat Alzheimers and Parkinson's.