Afghan man befriends scorpions, snakes

08:07, May 30, 2011      

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With snakes kept at home and scorpions crawling on his face, "Doctor Shirzad" is somewhat frightful though he is a kind man and popular among the villagers.

This unique man, Al-Hajj Mohammad Shirzad, loves venomous reptiles and arachnids and keeps the poisonous creatures as pets with hundreds of scorpions and snakes always kept in his muddy house outside Parwan's provincial capital Charikar, 55 km north of Afghan capital Kabul.

"I like scorpions and snakes. These are my friends," doctor Shirzad said while playing with a few scorpions and venomous snakes.

A father of six, Shirzad asserted his children have also befriended the poisonous creatures.

His teenage son Suliman is also seen in house yard passing time with several scorpions in his hands, on face and forehead.

Attired in doctor's white dress, the clean shaved Shirzad said he has been using the poison of snakes and scorpions in medical treatment for those suffering from leprosy and epilepsy.

"I have provided medical treatment to some 5,000 people who had suffered from leprosy and epilepsy from 38 countries," Shirzad told Xinhua while extracting the venom of a snake to a bottle.

"I begun this practice in Iran in 1975 when I used to live there as Afghan refugee and since then I am engaged with snakes and scorpions and I regard these two dangerous animals as my friends," Shirzad said.

"I am sure I can live with 10,000 scorpions today and can challenge anyone in the world," he contended.

However, Shirzad admitted he is afraid of poisonous spider. He said he is trying to tame a new one, pointing at a bottle where he keeps a black venomous eight-legged animal.

In the war-torn Afghanistan where the rate of unemployment and poverty is high, Shirzad has chosen a lucrative profession which is in fact a self-employed scheme.

Even though it is a dangerous job, he expressed satisfaction over his business, by saying "on one hand I past time with the poisonous creatures while on the other, I earn money to support my family properly."

Source: Xinhua
 
 
     
 
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(Editor:石希)

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