A Vietnamese man is under arrest after local police found 53 king cobras in his car.
Police in Hanoi arrested 30-year-old Nguyen Van Hai on Friday for attempting to transport 53 king cobras from the northern province of Vinh Phuc to Hanoi, the Vietnam News Agency reported Monday. Hai claims that he was paid the equivalent of less than $50 to transport the snakes.
King cobras are the world’s longest poisonous snake, and can reach 18 feet in length. Hai was transporting the snakes in green sacks, The Associated Press reports.
Hanoi police officer Dang Van Hanh stated that the cobras were transported to a wildlife rescue center, where they were treated before being released back into their natural habitat.
King cobra meat is prized in Vietnam, where it is considered a delicacy, AP reports. However, the Vietnamese government has outlawed the hunting and trading of the snake. The cobras are sometimes used in traditional medicines as well.