Snake Bites & Kills Chef 20 Minutes After Its Head Is Cut Off

A chef in China was preparing a soup that required a dangerous ingredient -- an Indochinese spitting cobra -- when the serpent attacked and killed him. But the craziest part: the venomous snake was able to do so 20 minutes after the man had severed the snake's head off.

Before cooking the five-foot snake, which is considered a healthy delicacy in Asia, Peng Fan decapitated it, but waited 20 minutes before throwing its head into a trashcan. The next thing diners overheard were loud screams coming from the kitchen.

Because of the cobra's reflexes, which can go on for about an hour after its death, its severed head was able to bite into the chef's skin and inject him with a flesh-killing, neurotoxic venom. Diners reportedly called for a doctor to help Fan, but by the time one arrived, he had already died.

A police spokesman says this was a really unfortunate accident and that the chef had a severe reaction to the bite. Typically, snake bite victims will be given an anti-venom serum, but Fan died before he could receive it.

Personally, I had no idea snakes were capable of killing long after they died. I feel so sorry for this man and his family. He was only doing his job and trying to bring good food and joy to others. How tragic -- and frightening.

Did you know snakes could kill after they were decapitated?


Image via Russ Bowling/Flickr



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jorji... jorjiegirl

All snakes that I have killed over the years are capable if biting long after their heads have been cut off this is not something uncommon, most ppl know this..this fella apparently not :(

Felip... FelipesMom

This snake is classified as vulnerable, meaning it is likely to become endangered. There is no reason for people to be eating it except ignorance and stupidity. 

Also, you don't sever a head off - you sever it, or you cut it off. No severing off! That sounds as awful as saying he "killed it dead." Not appropriate grammar for this article. 

nonmember avatar Shannon

First, a disclaimer; I LOVE snakes, all e reptiles in fact...but last summer I discovered a massive copperhead in the area my kids play in...I was worried about the neighbor kids, whose mother refuses to watch and our scrappy outdoor I got a shovel and decapitated it (I guess mommy/ninja instincts allowed me to get that close? Idk..)..didn't like doing it but I love humans more than woodland creatures..anyway, the head continued to "strike" and spit venom at me for quite a long time...scary!!

Gamer... Gamer_mom1

Thank you Felipe's mom for your wonderful self righteous contribution.

We are all dumber for having read it.

IKnow... IKnow0101

Lol @ gamer. I'm an English major and it annoys me when people correct grammar on blogs. Even after proofreading sometimes grammer mistakes can slip by.

nonmember avatar Victoria

There's a reason you're supposed to bury venomous snake heads. The venom stays potent for a long time after death and the head will continue to strike for a long while. We have diamond back rattle snake's in my area. We've killed 2 in my yard in the last 3 months. Venomous snakes are not a joke and not to be handled improperly.

Caitl... Caitlin322

This is a very unfortunate event, but if the chef was working with highly venomous snakes he should have been well aware of the risks and trained in the proper way to handle and dispose of the head... even my first grader knows the risks of grabbing a severed snake head and we don't live in an area where there's an abundance of venomous snakes.  He learned this when he was 3, the first and only time that we encountered a venomous snake- we were walking near the pond in our development and ran in to the landscapers who had just discovered a copperhead that had gotten itself stuck in some mesh and died... we got there just as they were cutting off and burying it's head and the reflexes were still very much active. 

Jeana... JeanaJaybird

I actually just seen a video on YouTube where a snake bites itself after it has been decapitated..

Victoria Bardsley

As someone who loves snakes and all manner of reptiles, maybe this incident will teach people how to properly dispose of the heads of these snakes when they go to prepare one. It's tragic this person died, but maybe now people who are preparing this dish in the future will learn to throw the snake's head away.

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