A man in Vietnam was arrested on Monday after officials discovered 53 King Cobra snakes in his car when he was stopped in Hanoi.
The man says he was paid to transport them, but there are few details at this time as to where he was taking them or who paid him. Authorities say the snakes were taken to a wildlife rescue center before being released back into the wild and were unharmed despite being transported together in a large bag.
Cobras are considered a delicacy in parts of Vietnam, so it’s possible the snakes were destined for a harsh fate before being rescued. They are also sought for their exotic skin, which is turned into items such as belts and shoes. The driver was paid $50 for his trouble, but was arrested since the hunting and trading of King Cobras is banned there.
Vietnamese police say they have seized 53 king cobras — that’s right, 53 — from a car in Hanoi. fb.me/24ippMZDa
— OdessaAmerican (@OdessaAmerican) April 22, 2013
Talk about a case of the Mondays! Vietnamese police arrest man found with 53 King cobras in his car ow.ly/ki8V3
— Darrell Romuld (CTV) (@CTVDarrell) April 22, 2013
— ❄rae❄ (@rumnrasins) April 22, 2013
— Philip Gourevitch (@PGourevitch) April 22, 2013