A video has emerged online showing an apparently incensed Indian man killing an enormous king cobra with his bare hands allegedly to avenge the death of his son. The man, consumed with rage, grabs the cobra with his bare hands, swings it violently in the air, and slams it repeatedly on the ground.
Although it is not known exactly where the footage was shot, it is believed to have been somewhere in Southern India. An Indian viewer on Yahoo claimed, “this took place in the southern Indian state of Kerala,” but the claim could not be confirmed independently.
The remarkable video, which has gone viral online, shows an Indian man attacking one of the world’s most poisonous and dangerous snakes by grabbing it by the tail and pulling it from a bush with his bare hands. He swings the hapless reptile violently in the air – apparently in a rage — and smashes its head on the ground multiple times.
Warning: Video below is mildly disturbing
According to reports, the man was inconsolable after his son reportedly died from a cobra bite. But his grief soon turned into a thirst for revenge. So he went out in search of the cobra that killed his son. And although it is not clear from the video that the cobra he finally pulled from the bushes was the one that bit his son, reports in the Indian media suggest so.
Regardless, the man killed the cobra with his bare hands and presumably satisfied his thirst for revenge.
Online viewers have reacted to the video and the story, expressing different opinions. While most viewers expressed sympathy for the man, a few condemned his action as cruelty against an animal.
But viewers who accused the man of cruelty against an animal were widely criticized.
“And I will crush you beneath me… you slithering, spineless, evil, belly crawling, venom filled parasitic worm of serpent filled plague on this earth… This is justice for his son!”
“That is exactly right. I understand his rage. I don’t understand the morons here bragging about how they are so manly they can kill snakes for no reason.”
“Fact: humans are most dangerous species on Earth.”
“If you think this was cruel then you should go out and ‘rescue’ all the cobras you can. Bring them into your home so you can protect them. Let them play with your children.”
“Anyone that can’t understand why this father did what he did, is living in their head, not their heart. God rest the child.”
Some Indian viewers reportedly expressed concern that the man only risked bringing further harm to his family by violently killing a king cobra. King cobras are worshiped in some parts of India as a representation of the gods. The king cobra features prominently in many myths and legends of Hindu gods.
But some skeptical viewers argued that the scene merely showed a householder handling a common occurrence in India in an unconventional way. Dangerous snakes often stray into people’s compounds and homes in some parts of India and the householder must find a way to kill the snake on his own.
“This is just a villager killing a snake that strayed into human habitat. In rural India straying snakes are just killed by locals in vast majority of cases.”
The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is widely distributed in the forests of Southeast Asia, especially in India. Despite the common term “cobra,” experts do not classify it as a member of the genus Naja consisting of most “true cobras,” but as the only member of the genus Ophiophagus, family Elipadae.
King cobras are the longest venomous snakes in the world growing in length up to 18 feet. While it is considered a very dangerous snake due to its potent venom, experts note that king cobras are usually not aggressive but avoid confrontation with humans. However, they will defend themselves aggressively if cornered.
[Image via Hari Prada/Wikimedia]