Police in Vietnam seize 53 king cobras from car in the capital
An official shows one of 600 cobras seized by the Thai Customs Department at a press conference in Bangkok Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012. The snakes were contained in sacks and plastic containers on a pickup truck and were being delivered to a foreign destination, according to authorities. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Published Monday, April 22, 2013 6:21AM EDT
HANOI, Vietnam -- Vietnamese police say they have seized 53 king cobras from a car in Hanoi and arrested the driver.
Officer Dang Van Hanh said Monday the live snakes were taken to a wildlife rescue centre near the capital where they treated before being released into the wild.
King cobras are the world's longest venomous snake, and grow up to 5.5 metres.
The meat of the king cobras is considered a delicacy by some in Vietnam, where hunting and trading the snakes is banned. The snakes are also sometimes preserved in traditional medicines.
The snakes, which were kept in green sacks, were seized Friday.
Hanh said the car driver told officers he was paid to transport them. Local media reported he was paid under $50.