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160 deadly cobras escape in China

From Helena Hong, CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • They end up in people's toilets, kitchens and roads
  • All but five or six of the snakes have been rounded up
  • The illegal breeder gets a break -- no fine, no arrest

Beijing, China (CNN) -- Deadly cobras ended up in people's toilets, kitchens and roads in southwestern China, after more than 160 of them escaped from an illegal breeding laboratory in early September, government officials said.

No one has been injured, and the breeder and a team of snake professionals have since rounded up all but five or six of the snakes in the village of Shijiao, said a county official identified only as Mr. Yan.

The snakes didn't do much harm or cost the government much money, and they cost a lot to raise, so the government is giving the breeder a break -- no fine, no arrest. Just transfer the cobras to a legal breeding laboratory in Guangxi, in southern China, the government told Cai Yong.

Frightened villagers might not be as forgiving.

Government officials had to convene them, to teach them how to avoid being bitten and how to treat a wound if bitten: Stay calm, because boosting your heart rate will spread the venom more quickly. Apply a tourniquet. Get a shot of anti-venom as quickly as possible.