The great s nake es­cape

The World of Chinese - - MISHMASH -

“Mass break­out” is a pretty alarm­ing phrase. “Mass ven­omous snake break­out” is still pretty bad, but would you feel any better if you knew they were baby snakes? In Au­gust, around 200 mon­o­cled co­bras busted out of a snake breed­ing fa­cil­ity in Nan­jing. Over the fol­low­ing month, about 150 were rounded up, which leaves 50 still un­ac­counted for. The snakes are used in a va­ri­ety of tra­di­tional medicine treat­ments (it is com­mon to see en­tire snakes pre­served in jars of al­co­hol), but they aren’t ex­actly Nan­jing na­tives. While the venom of adult mon­o­cled co­bras is po­ten­tially fatal if left un­treated, the ba­bies are far less dan­ger­ous. Though, pre­sum­ably, if the snakes re­main on the lam for long enough this will be­come a greater con­cern—if they haven’t al­ready been pick­led. - D.D.

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