Security guard dies after ‘suicide by snake’ in ‘horrific and painful’ death

A man took his own life by allowing highly venomous snakes to bite him after authorities discovered he had illegally imported the exotic animals.

South African Security guard Marius Joubert died agonisingly after being bitten by his own snakes following his arrest by police. The horrific event happened in Hennenman, a town approximately 100 miles north of the city of Bloemfontein in South Africa.

The 28-year-old had been under investigation for burglary and theft. Concerns arose when police planned to search his home, suspecting him of illegal activities involving exotic animals. Joubert, realizing the severity of the situation, reportedly opted for a drastic end rather than facing potential long-term imprisonment, The Mirror reports.

During the police visit to his residence, officers were taken aback to discover over 60 snakes, along with other exotic creatures such as a crocodile, iguanas, monitors, tarantulas, hedgehogs, and ferrets. Unknown to the officers, Joubert used the opportunity to deliberately provoke his snakes into biting him, leading to his death.

Authorities later confirmed that Joubert intentionally subjected himself to the lethal venom of his snakes. Despite efforts to save him, including a rushed trip to the hospital, the lack of appropriate antivenom led to his death.

Security guard Marius Joubert
Security guard Marius Joubert died after deliberately having snakes bite him
(Image: Facebook)

A source close to the investigation said: “[Joubert] knew the offences he would be charged with would be much more serious and that many of the snakes and animals he had could put him behind bars for 25 years. He asked if he could feed his snakes and once the cuffs were off he stuck his hands in two cages and was bitten by two snakes in the wrist area and then was restrained.”

“We know one of the snakes that bit him was an Indochinese Spitting Cobra which would have put a s****load of venom in him but we don’t know what the other snake was.

He was about to be released on a warning until his court date then he started to appear very unwell. Then he collapsed but as the spitting cobra is not native to South Africa there was no anti-venom. “

A rescued Water Monitor from the home where Marius Joubert was bitten by a snake in South Africa
A rescued Water Monitor from the home where Marius Joubert was bitten by a snake in South Africa
(Image: Facebook)

And the source added: “The venom is both a neurotoxin and a cytotoxin which means it shut down his lungs and suffocated him and also caused severe bleeding and destroyed his body tissues.

“It was an extremely painful and horrific way to end his life and it took about 9 hours from the bite to collapse and another 3 hours for the snake’s venom to kill him.”

Top news stories today

The incident has sparked investigations into the origin of the exotic pets and inquiries into Joubert’s clientele. Concerns have also been raised regarding the welfare of the animals found in his possession.

The Bloemfontein Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) intervened to rescue the neglected animals. Many of the them may need to be euthanized due to the circumstances surrounding Joubert’s actions.

Chief Inspector Reinet Meyer
Chief Inspector Reinet Meyer expressed dismay at the conditions in which the animals were kept
(Image: Facebook)

Chief Inspector Reinet Meyer: “The scenes inside the house were like a horror movie with over 70 wild animals all severely neglected. “The animals were all removed by the SPCA to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital by two snake catchers and are undergoing examination and treatment.

“We hope in time to heal as many of the indigenous species as possible and return them to their natural habitat but sadly the foreign exotic animals will have to be euthanised.

“It is not our policy to house animals in zoos or in captivity but only in the wild. A number of the animals and reptiles had tragically already succumbed to starvation and dehydration and were very neglected and in poor health and will need lots of care.”

For mental health support, contact the Samaritans on 116 123, email them at or visit to find your nearest branch.

Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

Flipboard | Bloemfontein News