It was the last fang for Malaysian snake-charmer Bidin Mat Hashim when a cobra bit him in front of a Korean television crew: after 24 snakebites in a 50-year career, he decided to call it quits.

Mr Bidin, who has been handling snakes since the age of 15 and has appeared regularly on television, told the New Straits Times: "I have given serious thought to it and have decided to stop, once and for all."

Mr Bidin, who has been hospitalised several times and required intensive care twice, did not explain why the 24th bite was worse than the others beyond saying: "It was quite painful and I was having difficulty in breathing."

He had been handling three cobras for a Korean documentary when one bit his right knee.