The authorities in Nanjing City in East China are reportedly searching for around 50 highly poisonous snakes after they escaped from a local breeding farm.
According to officials, over 200 baby cobras escaped from the unlicensed farm in August last week and 150 snakes were caught or killed later.
Media reports revealed that the authorities weren’t aware of the case until a villager from Liuhe district found and killed a snake in his house.
The adolescent monocled cobras, that escaped from the Chunyi livestock farm, were about 20 cm in length.
Monocled cobras are known as highly poisonous snakes and its venom can result in death within an hour, if not treated.
However, officials said the venom of escaped snakes is less toxic than mature snakes. Officials also believe the species, native to the tropics, wouldn’t survive the onset of winter.
Meanwhile, the district officials have already brought in snake-venom serum from Shanghai and also arranged medical facilities in case of injuries caused by the cobras.
Currently, the search for the snakes is being carried out in a 5-km radius of the farm and the authorities are alarming residents in the area about the case.
Qin Guorong, owner of the farm, said he had bought snake eggs from Guangdong Province earlier in August. According to Qin, out of 1,820 eggs he had hatched, 1,500 had survived. Qin said he started breeding snakes in 2015 to serve restaurants in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangdong.
Officials said the farm had been shut after the incident and its owner put under investigation.
Similarly in August, around 180 baby snakes had escaped from a breeding farm in China’s southwest Sichuan province. According to reports, 120 of the snakes were caught, 30 killed and seven found dead later.