By Nora Hakramaj

SNAKE WHISPERER Abu Zarin Hussin watches TV, plays soccer and reads bedtime stories to his 14ft venomous King COBRAS

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Videographer / director: Hashim Sakiri
Producer: Nora Hakramaj, Ruby Coote
Editor: Joshua Douglas

Pucker Up: Abu leans in for the kiss with his slippery friend

Despite being bitten eight times - once almost fatally - and ending up in a coma twice, Abu is totally devoted to his scaly friends, and has no intention of ever giving up his perilous pets.

The 32-year-old, from Kelantan, Malaysia, followed in the footsteps of his snake handler father and became a specialist snake handler in the fire service.

Open wide: Abu grooms his beloved pet snake

But despite the love for his work, Abu accepts that snake handling is not for the fainthearted.

Abu said: “The pain from a snake bite is very severe to the point that you can’t even describe it.

Splish splash: Abu gives his pet snake a bath

“The worst bite would have to be the eighth time. I did not realise that the snake was bleeding from its head. I tried touching the wound on its head and it bit me right away. It took ten seconds for the snake to let me go.

“On the way to the hospital, bubbles started coming out of my mouth and a few moments later I was unconscious.

Story time: Abu regularly reads stories to his pet cobras

“The doctor confirmed that I was not going to make it because the venom had spread to my heart.

“After being in a coma for two days I woke up. I am considered lucky to still be alive.”

Friendship: Abu has no intention of ever giving up his scaly friends - despite many close calls

As well as educating others, Abu makes sure to follow all of the safety precautions before allowing anyone take photos or ‘pet’ his venomous snakes; King, Chip and Cik Din.

He said: “I take my cobras to participate in training courses for taming snakes at the Fire Department Training Centre. I also lead awareness briefings on the dangers of snakes to the public.”

Snake whisperer: Abu followed in the footsteps of his father who also handled snakes

Last year the media reported that Abu had married his snakes, and although he denies these claims, his bond with his pets is a special one.

He added: “No human can get married to a snake. That story is definitely false and I think the story got altered and twisted to suit people of different beliefs and culture.

Dedication: "I don't care if people call me crazy or stupid"

“I’m only interested in humans when it comes to marriage.”

Although his snakes have put his life on the line, the fireman has never thought of giving them up or felt afraid, instead is more motivated to learn and teach other firemen and his community how to catch and tame snakes.

Dangerous: The snakes' venom is potentially lethal

He said: “Snakes are wild species and we need time to get used to them and understand their characteristics to be able to tame them.

“I don’t care if people call me crazy or stupid, I know what I’m doing. It is for the benefit of the public and the Fire Department.”