A cat protected two children of his family from a deadly snake, and has died after being bitten in the melee.

Arthur is a domestic shorthair that lives with his family on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. He saw the snake approach while the two children were playing in the back garden of their home. He attacked the snake and killed it in the process, but he was also bitten in the process.

“An Eastern Brown snake, one of Australia’s top 10 highly venomous snakes, had entered the backyard right where the children were playing,” the Animal Emergency Service at Tanawha team wrote on social media. “Arthur jumped into action protecting his young family by killing the snake. Unfortunately, in the process, Arthur received a fatal envenomation snake bite.”

As the children were hurried to safety, Arthur collapsed but recovered quickly, with no one in the family seeing the actual bite so they thought nothing was wrong.

The next morning, the family found Arthur was unable to stand and rushed him to the veterinarian hospital. Unfortunately, Arthur’s symptoms were too severe to recover/

“His family, understandably devastated, remember him fondly and are forever grateful he saved the children’s lives,” wrote the Animal Emergency Service.

The eastern brown snake is widely considered to be the world’s second most venomous land snake in central Australia.

If a human gets bitten, symptoms include hypotension, collapse, and cardiac arrest.

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