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Kids with Cobras

In Travel by DougLeave a Comment

Recently, I’ve seen videos like those in the Youtube playlist below being passed around Facebook. Typically, they are met with virtual gasps of horror and the occasional derisive, if not blatantly racist, comment about Indian culture.

How about a little perspective?

When I was in India, a man in an open air market approached me with a closed basket then put it up to my face and opened it. A 7ft cobra jumped up and struck at my face. I was younger and nimbler then, so I dodged out of reflex … and nearly crapped my pants. Once I composed myself, it was all I could do to not beat the man within an inch of his life.

At that point, my Indian friends intervened and I was told that snake handlers generally remove the fangs and venom glands from these snakes with a very crude surgery. Many, if not most, of the snakes die. So, the families of snake handlers are always catching new snakes in the wild.

Should you go to India, I would not count on that. One never knows. But, in this case, it is clearly a family of snake handlers and the child is likely in no real danger.

Long story short, I would not worry about the kids, but I would have some compassion for the snakes.

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