King Cobra Kills Indonesian Pop Star Irma Bule During Performance
Indonesian pop star Irma Bule has died after sustaining a venomous king cobra bite during one of her performances this week. Worse yet, the terrible stunt gone wrong has been documented on video by AOL and re-posted by Examiner.
The 29-year-old pop music star chose to wear the king cobra as a scarf for her concert in the city of Karawang, which is located just east of Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta.
According to reports, Bule was bitten by the cobra during her second song of the evening but continued to perform for the crowd for an additional 45 minutes as, unbeknownst to the performer, the snake’s venom seeped into her bloodstream with deadly repercussions.
While the snake’s on-scene handler immediately attempted to administer the venom antidote, the pop star is seen refusing this treatment in favor of continuing to perform. Per various news outlets, Bule was under the impression that the cobra had been de-fanged.
“[Bule] didn’t know it was a poisonous snake,” recalled the pop star’s mother Encum, who noted that her daughter had been performing with non-poisonous snakes and, in particular, cobras, for three years ago. “She was just told to perform with the snake and its mouth [was] shut with a duct tape.”
Ultimately, the pop star collapsed in front of a stunned crowd, having a seizure just prior to passing out from the king cobra’s deadly venom and never regaining consciousness.
According to Fox News, the music star has made frequent use of snakes as part of on-stage outfits during shows, although she always wore a boa constrictor or python in the past.
During her performance, Bule appears on the video to have inadvertently stepped on the cobra’s tail, prompting the attack.
This tradition of performing while snake-clad, including wearing a king cobra, is hardly unique to this Indonesian pop star. The practice actually stems, according to Newsoxy, from Bule’s background as a dangdut performer in her home country.
Dangdut, a pop music genre in Indonesia, is a popular type of performance that is known to draw very large crowds. For that reason, it is often regarded as the medium of choice for aspiring female singers, especially those who come from small towns, have impoverished backgrounds, or lack exposure. These women can be categorized for wearing revealing attire and costumes as well as laying out provocative dance moves.
Unfortunately, the tradition of dangdut also carries with it some dangerous traditions.
Yeyen, another Indonesian pop star, noted that girls starting out in dangdut usually earn only about $20 per performance, plus tips. Performing with a snake, she told local media, also per Newsoxy, allows them to pull in $25 per show.
“If there are snake dancers, there will be more audience,” said Bule’s pop star colleague, noting that this leads many female performers to take the exotic route. “Therefore… we have snake dancers.”
The king cobra, which can stand up to nearly eight feet tall and is regarded as one of the world’s deadliest snakes, is probably as just as world-renowned for its irritability and unpredictability as it is for its deadly bite. Based on what is commonly known about the predator, this is especially true in situations with large amounts of people or noise.
Just one bite from a king cobra, the Examiner noted, is enough to kill a full-sized elephant.
[Image by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images]