Crazy man is addicted to snakebites

Its deadly venom kills within 20 minutes. But Tim Friede is happy to guide a black mamba towards his bare arm and wait for it to bite.

And after it has sunk its teeth into his flesh to deliver its payload of toxins, he just settles back in his chair and waits for the pain to subside.

Snakebite addict

The jobless factory worker has survived more than 100 poisonous snake bites after building up his resistance by injecting himself with diluted venom.

His arm balloons in size because the poison brings on anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal allergic reaction that can also cause breathing difficulties.

But he hopes the self-torture will be worth it as he seeks to demonstrate that millions of people at risk from snake bites could be made immune.

‘When people see what I do they usually swear or ask me if I’m going to die,’ said the 45-year-old. ’The pictures are a display of my immunity, to prove it works.

‘That’s the only way people will believe it, and the true test of if self- immunisation works.’

Mr Friede, who keeps 100 snakes in his basement in Milwaukee, Winsconsin, US, has to have regular check-ups in case he has unknowingly suffered organ damage.

But he said: ‘I hope through developing my own resistance to poison some solid groundwork can be laid to build a vaccine for the 125,000 people who die from snakebites every year.

‘At present, the poor of Asia and Africa are the majority of the victims.’


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