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Chef cooking snake dies after cobra bites him – 20 minutes after head was cut off

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A snake that already had its head chopped off, bites the chef
trying to cook it and kills him.

A chef preparing a dish from cobra flesh died
when the snake’s head bit him – 20 minutes after it
was cut off.

Victim Peng Fan had been preparing a special dish
made from the Indochinese spitting cobra, a rare
delicacy in Asia where eating snakes is
commonplace.

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 Mr Peng died before he could be given
life saving anti-venom in hospital.

Diners who were eating in the restaurant at the
time have described screams coming from the
kitchen as the tragedy unfolded.

Restaurant guest Lin Sun, 44, who was in the
restaurant with his wife Su at the time 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.”

The snake was being diced up to be made into
snake soup, which is a delicacy in the area and a
much sought after dish in high-end restaurants.
China has seen a rising demand for snake
products, not only in restaurants but also for use
in traditional medicine.

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.

Mr Yang 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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