53-year-old Dieter Zorn died from a heart attack after being bitten by an Aspic viper during his reptile show in Faugères, southern France.
Zorn was known for his reptile shows that were held to help the public and individuals overcome their fears of snakes and other reptiles.
The Local reported “His (Zorn’s) ambition and his objective in life was to help people to conquer their fears about snakes and reptiles,” she added, noting that the incident was “exceptionally uncommon.”
His colleague Uschi Kallus, who ran the ‘Reptile Show’ along with Zorn, told The Local he had suffered an “extremely rare allergic reaction” to the bite, and emphasized that Zorn would not have wanted the viper to be blamed for his death.
His website describes a special performance known as the “Interactive Reptiles Show.”
“The public (under no obligation), can get up close to different inoffensive snakes. Touching and holding, stroking, and carrying these harmless snakes is, for most people, unique and unforgettable. This experience helps us to get over unfounded fears, and eliminate prejudices,” it reads.
The Huffington Post reported:
“Vipers are poisonous snakes, Animal Planet notes. Snake venom is meant to kill prey, with the poison working to damage an animal’s nerves, heart, breathing, blood vessels and body tissues.
“The Aspic viper is a snake native to France, Switzerland, Spain and Italy. It can grow up to 20 inches in length and live in a variety of habitats.”
Animal attacks seem to be a popular topic, what with the multiple bear attacks reported in the past few weeks, and yes, even fish on fish violence with the news of the Coney Island Applebee’s shark attack massacre, where fish started to go missing after sharks had been brought into the Applebee’s tank.
According to The Local, Zorn was a former hepatologist (liver specialist) according to Midi Libre, and had spent the past three decades touring with his ‘Reptile Show,’ in which audience members, young and old, were invited to handle snakes, crocodiles, scorpions, spiders and other creatures.
Before Zorn suffered his fatal heart attack, Zorn was able to catch the viper and place it in a container to keep the crowd safe from any harm.
[Image via Huffington Post]