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Snakes on a Plane Turn to Train: Bags of Deadly King Cobras Found Onboard

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by hearit

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In The News

Snakes on a plane has a new twist: Railway officials discover snakes on a train -- as in deadly, highly venomous king cobras are found stashed in bags under a passenger seat.
It's the thing nightmares are made of, confirming one of peoples' worst fears: Vietnam railroad officials say a discovery of, literally, bags of snakes was marked by terrified passengers. Onboard train passengers were witness to the removal of four cloth bags, each of which contained masses of wriggling and dangerous snakes -- including the extremely valuable King Cobra species.
The baggage handler was apparently well aware of the fact that, while snakes have no bark, the reptiles can carry a mighty bite: while the writhing masses of poisonous snakes were all found alive, the animals' mouths were stitched closed.
The Asia train was bound for Hanoi from Ho Chi Minh City. Reportedly the deadly reptiles were first spotted by a guard and train conductor performing a routine search of public transportation while at the Quang Ngai railway station.
The exact number of snakes on the train is still unknown but the four bags of writhing reptiles weighed in at about 100 pounds (45 kilograms). Vietnam is now on alert for smugglers -- the potentially deadly King Cobras believed to be destined for a dining experience. Restaurants in Hanoi are believed to be the final destination for the "delicacy" -- though true destination remains unconfirmed, with the snake owner escaping during on-board chaos that surrounded the reptile discovery.
Snake meat is considered a true delicacy for diners, however cobras are protected by law in Vietnam.
In Vietnam like other Asian countries, the cobra in particular gets a high rank -- an elevated status as a symbol of strength and virility. Drinking cobra snake blood is believed to bestow strength and virility, the reptile blood considered a stimulant and general health aid.
Cobra blood is typically combined with liquor, served as an alcoholic "shooter" to men. Shot preparation includes beheading a live cobra snake and draining the blood into a glass containing the Asian liqeur arak. Cobra blood is also combined with vodka. The snake's heart is a delicacy too -- usually extracted and eaten, then followed with several shots of the alcoholic blood mixture. And this may be where those snakes on a train were coming into play: while black and white cobra blood isn't such an exclusive commodity -- ranging between U.S. $5 to $8 dollars -- the blood of a King Cobra is worth a bundle: more than $100 bucks.
The Hanoi "snakes on a train" were turned over to forest rangers so the dangerous animals could be released back into Vietnam wild. It seems no one showed up to claim the little suckers.
Hopefully, at least, someone remembered to take out their stitches.


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