A heartbroken blogger livestreamed his own suicide, letting his black pet mamba bite his hand after his marriage broke down.
The 31-year-old male, Arslan Valeev from St Petersburg, Russia, begged viewers to call his ex-wife, Ekaterina 'Kayta' Pyatyzhkina, as he deteriorated on camera.
The well-known snake expert and YouTuber – who was a former zoo employee – let the snake bite him on purpose in the deeply disturbing footage, before his limbs became numb and he staggered off camera.
The actual snake bite and moment of death were not shown, though Valeev allowed viewers to see the bite on his hand.
Valeev got up from his chair and struggled to walk off camera, possibly towards a bathroom, before dying shortly afterwards.
He said in the shocking live stream: "Hi... So, guys... (sighs). It's time to do what I must do. Live stream [unintelligible]."
Valeev disappeared off camera before a muffled sound of "ouch" could be heard as the deadly snake bit him, and he returned to tell his viewers: "If I die, then I die," before adding: "I just will stay with you for some time. Just in case - on my mobile there is a message for Katya...."
His breathing quickened and his eyes started rolling. He continued: "Pass on to Katya that I loved her very much," showing his bitten finger.
He added: "Beautiful, isn't it? Oh, damn, how it... Bye to everyone... I can't believe it is happening to me..."
Valeev then read out his wife's phone number, saying: "This is Katya's number, if someone manages to call her, if she has time to come to me and see me, I would be happy.
"In fact I'm already dying. Farewell. I would be glad to see Katya. Damn, I'm shaking."
At least one viewer called an ambulance, which later arrived and rushed the vlogger to hospital, but medics were unable to save him.
A day before his death he had announced a special broadcast with one of his "most beloved snakes", but gave no indication of his intentions.
He and his wife Ms Pyatyzhkina were famed in Russia for running several YouTube channels about snakes and their pet bobcats. They had hundreds of thousands of followers.
Friends have claimed that Valeev accused his wife of cheating on him on 4 August, and according to reports, he beat her and she suffered concussion.
On 21 September he publicly apologised to his wife for his behaviour, stating that their sexual relationship had ended in July.
What is the black mamba?
The black mamba is a venomous snake epidemic to parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Most species are tree-dwelling snakes and ambush predators, known to prey on hyrax, bushbabies and other small mammals as well as birds.
The mamba usually opens its inky black mouth in a threat display, and is capable of striking at considerable range, occasionally delivering a series of bites in rapid succession.
Its venom is primarily composed of potent neurotoxins that may cause fast onset of symptoms. Despite being highly aggressive, it usually attempts to flee from humans unless threatened or cornered.