A man in Zimbabwe was recently arrested by police when it was found he had a deadly Egyptian cobra coiled up inside his laptop bag. Now, the man says he wants his snake back.
Grey Mupinganjire, 32, hails from Chihota Muhove, a rural village around 100 kilometers from the Zimbabwe capital, Harare. He was traveling in a taxi in Harare last Sunday when police stopped the vehicle and searched the passengers.
According to IOL, the police officers were horrified when they opened Mupinganjire’s laptop bag and discovered a deadly Egyptian cobra coiled up inside. They arrested the man and took the snake from him, handing it over to the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority.
Man in court bid to get cobra back: A Zimbabwean man arrested by police with a deadly Egyptian cobra in his laptop… http://t.co/lufSOaTHOm
— CapeTown Journal (@capetownjournal) September 17, 2015
Mupinganjire was then charged under the Parks and Wildlife Act for possessing a reptile without a license or permit.
When he appeared in court, Mupinganjire admitted that he owned the deadly Egyptian cobra and told the court that he had inherited the dangerous snake from his mother. He stressed that it was not an offense for him to own the Egyptian cobra, and asked the police to return his property.
“Yes, I was found in possession of a snake, but it is my snake and belongs to me and should not have been forfeited.”
According to Mupinganjire, his mother brought the Egyptian cobra from Malawi, but couldn’t prove this, as his mother has since passed away.
The court magistrate, Elijah Makomo, dubbed the case as “bizarre” and said Mupinganjire should be psychologically examined. The magistrate then postponed the case until Monday.
Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri reportedly said the snake is worth $100.
Egyptian-cobra-mhunguA Chihota man who was arrested for possessing a live Egyptian cobra (not a black mamba as… http://t.co/RRlXzlhk63
— NewsHub (@ItsNewsHub) September 17, 2015
However, Mupinganjire insists that he is not insane and that he is grieving for his lost snake. He said that, like his mother before him, he used the Egyptian cobra in traditional rituals.
According to New Zimbabwe, he was shown on TV in the country with the potentially deadly snake coiled comfortably around his neck and shoulders.
One of Africa’s deadliest snakes, the Egyptian cobra is normally around 2m (6.5 ft) in length. When a human is bitten by one of the deadly snakes, death can occur from respiratory failure within approximately one hour.
[Image: Egyptian cobra CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Michael Ransburg]