Tuesday, 31. March 2015
22. 08. 14. - 16:00
A chef preparing a dish made from cobra flesh died when the snake's head he had severed 20 minutes earlier bit him on the hand.
Victim Peng Fan - from Shunde, a district in the city of Foshan in southern China's Guangdong province - had been preparing a special dish made from Indochinese spitting cobra, a rare delicacy.
But when he went to throw the serpent's severed head into the waste bin, it bit him - injecting him with its fast acting venom.
Police say Peng died before he could be given life saving anti-venom in hospital.
"It is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident.
"He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky," said a police spokesman.
Snake expert Yang Hong-chang - who has spent 40 years studying cobras - says all reptiles can function for up to an hour after losing body parts, or even their entire body, as this video of another chef removing the head of a snake as he prepares to cook it shows.
He said: "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."
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