Indian Boy Bites Cobra to Death

by Paul Serran

Back in the olden days of the 20th century, in Journalism school, I was taught that ‘dog-bites-man’ was not a newsworthy piece, but on the other hand, ‘man bites dog’ was: that we, as journalists, should look for the unexpected, the unusual.

So when I run into a story like: ‘Cobra-bites-boy-Boy-bites-cobra-back-cobra-dies’, I can’t help but be a little excited.

It turns out that, out of every hundred snake bites in the planet, 85 happen in India. Many also used to happen in Niagara Falls, it seems – but I get ahead of myself.

Deepak saved himself by biting the cobra back.

From the DailyMail: ‘An eight-year-old Indian boy killed a cobra that had wrapped itself around his arm and sank its fangs into his skin by biting it back in a miraculous tale of survival.’

The boy called Deepak was playing outside his family home when the serpent wound itself around his arm and bit him.

‘Fighting through the pain, Deepak furiously shook his arm but couldn’t release the reptile, at which point he decided to give the attacker a taste of its own medicine and viciously sank his own teeth into its body, successfully killing the animal.’

‘The snake got wrapped around my hand and bit me. I was in great pain. […] As the reptile didn’t budge when I tried to shake it off, I bit it hard twice. It all happened in a flash,’

An examination of Deepak’s injury revealed that ‘he sustained a ‘dry bite’, meaning the cobra did not release any venom.’

That was lucky. More than 50k people are killed in India in a year, by snake bites.


In my unofficial capacity as biographer, I was instantly reminded of another boy called Frank, renowned for his ‘serpentine activities’ and who kept getting bitten by snakes.

I want to bring here excerpts of the book ‘Captive: a Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult’, by Catherine Oxenberg.

Frank Parlato with Catherine Oxenberg in Niagara Falls

“[Me and Frank Parlato went to] Niagara Falls. At ten o’clock on a cold, drizzling night. […] We parked and got out to walk a short distance to the Falls – just as the drizzle turned into a monsoon. By the time we got to the lookout point, we were drenched. […]

‘You know, I used to catch rattlesnakes when I was a kid,’ Frank yelled over the rumbling water. ‘At first, the bite was excruciating. But eventually I got used to it.’

 ‘Urn, Frank!’ I shouted. ‘How many times did you have to get bitten before you developed a tolerance for it?’

 He shrugged. ‘A lot.’

 And standing there by the thundering waterfalls, soaking wet, I started to laugh.” […]

 Was it any wonder why Frank wasn’t afraid of Keith [Raniere] and his min­ions? He had inoculated himself against rattlesnake venom; he was like a snake medicine man! He’d harnessed nature’s poison, and it had given him a superpower to fight the Beast! Right there in that moment, I decided I liked Frank—very much. A snake master like him was exactly what I needed to help me fight this unusual battle between good and evil.

 ‘Hey, Frank!’ I yelled again. ‘Why were you catching the snakes in the first place, especially after they kept biting you? What kid in his right mind would do such a thing?’

 Frank looked at me as if what he’d done was the most normal thing in the world for a kid to do.

 ‘Why, to eat them, of course.’

 Yes, sir. Frank was the man for this job.”


About the author

Paul Serran


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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083