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Chinese chef dies from cobra bite 20 minutes after head was cut off

Posted: 2:56 PM, Aug 24, 2014
Updated: 2014-08-24 14:56:13-04

(PIX11) — A Chinese chef who was preparing a dish using cobra flesh died after the snake bit him — 20 minutes after its head was cut off.

Peng Fang of Foshan in the Guangdong province was preparing a rare delicacy made with the Indochinese spitting cobra. When he went to throw the snake’s severed head into the trash, it bit him, injecting its lethal venom into him, the Mirror reported.

Peng died before he could be taken to the hospital to be given anti-venom, police said.

Diners eating in the restaurant described screams and commotions coming from the kitchen.

The snake soup is a much sought-after dish in high-end Chinese restaurants. China has seen a rising demand for snake products in both meals and traditional medicine, the Mirror wrote.

Snake expert Yang Hong-Change told the British paper that reptiles can function for up to an hour after losing body parts.

Death by the Indochinese spitting cobra, also know as the Thai or black-and-white spitting cobra, is caused by paralysis and consequent asphyxiation. A victim can be permanently blinded if the snake spits venom into their eyes.

The video below shows how mobile a decapitated cobra can be. Caution: the video contains graphic content.