A car containing 53 king cobras was seized by authorities on Friday in Hanoi and the driver was arrested for transporting the snakes, which are protected under Vietnamese law from hunters and traders.
King cobra meat is considered a delicacy in some parts of Vietnam and the snakes also are used in traditional Vietnamese medicine, reported The Associated Press.
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The snakes were contained in green sacks inside the car. The driver told arresting officers that he had been paid $50 to transport them.
The snakes were taken to a wildlife rescue center near the capital, according to police, and they will eventually be released back into the wild after being treated by veterinary staff at the rescue center.
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The king cobra, which is found throughout Southeast Asia, India, Indonesia and the Philippines, is the world's longest venomous snake, reaching a length of up to 18 feet.
A bite from a king cobra can kill a person in 15 minutes.
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