Milking The Snake

by Zoë Pollock

No, not that one. The one that can actually kill you:

For decades Bill Haast, who died this June at the age of 100, milked about 100 snakes a day with his bare hands, and in 1948 began injecting himself with increasing doses of diluted cobra venom in order to develop his own immune resistance. At the time of his death (not caused by snakebite), he'd survived 172 bites from many of the world's deadliest snakes, including a blue krait, a king cobra and a Pakistani pit viper. He flew around the world to donate transfusions of his antibody-rich blood to treat 21 snakebite victims. … According to his wife Nancy, all 21 patients survived.