Pastor Jamie Coots, who starred in National Geographic Channel reality series Snake Salvation, has died after receiving a snakebite and declining medical treatment.
Coots was bitten on the hand during a service at his snake-handling church in Kentucky, US, on Saturday night and was quickly overwhelmed by the venom. His religious beliefs meant his family refused him medical treatment after he had passed out, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Snake Salvation ran for a season on US cable net Nat Geo starting in September last year but has not been renewed for a season.
The network released a statement, saying: “National Geographic joins his family, friends and community in mourning the loss of Pastor Jamie Coots. In following Pastor Coots for our series Snake Salvation, we were constantly struck by his devout religious convictions despite the health and legal peril he often faced.
“Those risks were always worth it to him and his congregants as a means to demonstrate their unwavering faith. We were honoured to be allowed such unique access to Pastor Jamie and his congregation during the course of our show, and give context to his method of worship. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”