In Brief

Nigerian university calls in snake charmers after student death

Economics student Zainab Umar died following reports of numerous reptiles on campus

Snakes

A university in Nigeria has called in snake charmers to help rid its campus of a reptile problem, following the death of a student who was bitten by a snake earlier this month

Economics student Zainab Umar died last week, three days after suffering the bite at Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University in Katsina, north-west Nigeria

The dean of student affairs, Dr Suleiman Kankara, said charmers had been hired following the incident.

“We normally hire the snake charmers whenever we get report of presence of snakes on the campus. It is unfortunate that the lady died. We know we tried our best to prevent her death,” he told the Nigerian Daily Post.

Dr Kankara also added that against medical advice, Umar was taken away by her friends and her brother from the university clinic where she had been receiving treatment.

“Zainab was bitten by a snake on Friday evening and she was promptly treated at our health centre,” he explained.

“I spoke with her mother on phone on Saturday that she should be allowed to continue her treatment. I later checked the clinic on Saturday evening only to learn that her friends and her brother had taken her away from the clinic against medical advice.”

Snake charming is commonly practiced in south Asian countries but also in parts of Africa.

Snake charmers typically play a flute which the snake appears to respond to, often at close striking range. “Astonishingly, the snake seems reluctant to strike despite a flared hood in the case of cobras,” says the BBC.

In Nigeria, snake charmers physically handle cobras with their bare hands in street performances and sometimes involve members of their audience, adds the broadcaster.

Recommended

Is monkeypox here to stay?
Monkeypox virus
Talking point

Is monkeypox here to stay?

Immunity, Tunisia and Big Brother
Covid vaccine lab
Podcasts

Immunity, Tunisia and Big Brother

Quiz of The Week: 30 July - 5 August
Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 30 July - 5 August

Alex Jones admits Sandy Hook shootings were real
Alex Jones bellows into a loud hailer
Speed Reads

Alex Jones admits Sandy Hook shootings were real

Popular articles

Will China invade Taiwan?
Chinese troops on mobile rocket launchers during a parade in Beijing
Fact file

Will China invade Taiwan?

Is World War Three on the cards?
Ukrainian soldiers patrol on the frontline in Zolote, Ukraine
In Depth

Is World War Three on the cards?

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022
Roger Allam and Nancy Carroll in Murder in Provence
In Depth

Best new TV crime dramas of 2022

The Week Footer Banner