53 king cobras seized from car

Man paid less than $50 to deliver the snakes in Vietnam

 UPDATED 5:17 AM HST Apr 22, 2013
King cobras

Fifty-three king cobras -- the world's longest poisonous snake -- were recently seized from a car in Vietnam.

The deadly snakes were found in green sacks on Friday in a vehicle driven by Nguyen Van Hai, a 30-year-old who told police that he had been hired to transport the snakes from the northern province of Vinh Phuc to Hanoi, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

King cobra meat is considered a delicacy in parts of Vietnam, and is sometimes used in medicine.

However, hunting and trading the reptiles is illegal in the Southeast Asian country.

Hai, who was arrested, told police he was paid less than $50 to deliver the snakes.

On Monday, Officer Dang Van Hanh told The Associated Press the live snakes were treated at a wildlife rescue center near Hanoi and then released into the wild.

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