A bite from a King Cobra, the longest venomous snake in the world and intelligent enough to be trained, has enough volume and toxicity to kill an elephant. The likelihood of this actually happening in the wild is however low, since the strike would have to be in the only place where the elephant’s skin is thin, at the end of its trunk. A guide is essential.
Spitting Cobras can accurately spit venom into the eyes from as far away as 3 metres, causing temporary or, if untreated, permanent blindness.
There are 48 different species of venomous snake in Khao Sok. Lethal bites are very rare, since the snake does not usually deliver a full dose of poison, unless it is either really irritated or is a juvenile that doesn’t yet have full control of its biting anatomy. There are only about 10 to 20 snake-related deaths in Thailand each year, almost all of whom are farmers planting rice.
If you come very close to a snake hanging in the vegetation, freeze and blow in its direction: it will hopefully go away. Stay stock still and do not call for assistance from other people. Do not handle dead snakes; they can still bite through reflex. If bitten, do not attempt to suck the poison out by mouth, you can cause infection to the wound and poison yourself in the process. Also, do not apply ice, which inhibits the body’s natural defences.
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