One might think that because a snake’s head has been chopped off and left alone that it could no longer do any harm.
Well, the story of Peng Fan, a Chinese chef, came unfortunately surprising, but too late.
Peng was said to have just finished preparing a soup delicacy out of an Indochinese spitting cobra.
Before that, however, the chef chopped off the head of the snake and left it on the table. Twenty (20) minutes after, when the special dish was done, Peng went back to dispose the head to the waste bin.
Nobody knew how he picked it up, but the thing is that the snake’s severed head clamped down on his hand, while in the act of throwing it away, injecting him with fast-acting, deadly venom.
Diners who were eating in the restaurant at the time of the incident described screams coming from the kitchen.
Peng died before he could be treated in hospital with life-saving anti-venom.
“It is a highly unusual case, but it appears to be just an accident,” a police spokesman said. “He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky.
“There was nothing that could be done to save the man. Only the anti-venom could have helped, but this was not given in time. It was just a tragic accident.”
According to snake expert Yang Hong-Chang, all reptiles can function for up to an hour after losing their body parts.
“It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng’s hand,” he said. “By the time a snake has lost its head, it’s effectively dead, as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action.
“It means snakes have the capability of biting and injecting venom even after the head has been severed.”