Unusual video posted online lately, displays how a snake head can writhe around long after it is cut off the body.
Eating snakes is something ordinary or routine in some parts of Asia, but Indochinese spitting cobra considered as a rare delicacy. China has seen a rising demand for snake products, not only in restaurants but also for use in traditional medicine.
This kind of sneaks is indigenous Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Burma.
The Daily Mail reported that Chef Peng Fan, of Guangdong Province in China, was preparing a special dish made from cobra flesh when the snake bit his hand causing his death – 20 minutes after it was cut off.
More photos can be seen on The Daily Mail.
Peng was throwing the head in the trash but the head was still operating. The sneak injected the chef with its neurotoxic venom. He died before anti-venom could be provided.
Another video shows the sneak:
Helping screams could be heard from the kitchen, at the time that many diners were waiting their meals.
Lin Sun, 44, one of the restaurant guests, was in the restaurant with his wife, celebrating his her birthday when the turmoil started. Su said:
“We were in the restaurant having a meal for my wife’s birthday when suddenly there was a lot of commotion. We did not know what was happening but could hear screams coming from the kitchen. There were calls for a doctor in the restaurant but unfortunately by the time medical assistance arrived the man had already died. After we heard that we did not continue with our meal.”
A police spokesman said:
“It is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident. He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky.There was nothing that could be done to save the man. Only the anti-venom could have helped but this was not given in time. It was just a tragic accident.”
According to Yang Hong-Chang, snake expert who has spent 40 years studying cobras, all reptiles can act for up to an hour after losing body parts, or even their entire body.
“It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng’s hand. By the time a snake has lost its head, it’s effectively dead as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action. It means snakes have the capability of biting and injecting venom even after the head has been severed.”
The Indochinese spitting cobra – also known as Naja siamensis – can be found in lowlands, hills, plains, woodland and jungle. It’s usually 3ft to 3.9ft long, 5ft as maximum, and feeds on rodents, toads, and other snakes.
In the region where chef Peng lived, people have a long history of having different kinds of snake meats, usually served up in a soup, and is also taken as part of Chinese medicine, for it is believed that snake meat can heal illness.
Local Chinese resident said:
“Snake meat is really good for us. It is not so easy to get and is expensive but it has spectacular health benefits. I have never heard any cases of a dead snake killing anyone, especially not in the kitchen.”