Liuzhou Laowai

Random thoughts on life in Liuzhou, Guangxi, China

Snake Arrested and Released

Several years ago, I was sitting in a now long-gone Liuzhou bar and got chatting with an American guy who was working in the city. I forget how, but somehow, the topic turned to snakes. The guy said that he had a serious snake phobia. In fact, he looked rather ill just talking about them.

Ever the diplomat, I asked him why the hell he was in Guangxi, snake central of China.

“Are there snakes here?” he asked.

“Yes, millions of them!”

He left shortly after.

Wuzhou city in the south-east of Guangxi is famous for its Snake Depository and they ship snakes all over China as food. Especially to Hong Kong. The snakes are captured throughout the region, including in Liuzhou.

Every year, there are stories of people illegally trying to sell protected snake species and being bitten, sometimes fatally.

I bring this up because yesterday a poisonous snake was found in a student dormitory at Guangxi Science and Technology University in the east of the city. The police were called to deal with it. By the time they arrived, the snake had left the dormitory and taken up residence in a e-bike. Police removed it using tongs.

The snake turned out to be a one-metre-long many-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctus), also known as the Taiwanese krait or the Chinese krait (Chinese:银环蛇, literally ‘silver ringed snake’.) It weighed about 500g.

Although their bite is relatively mild in terms of pain, the species is highly venomous and, if untreated, bites can lead to death.

It is native to southern China and is a protected species, so the police were anxious that it came to no harm. It is reported that they later released it in a remote wooded area. Rumours that they actually took it home for dinner are unconfirmed.

Snakes for dinner are available in some markets or from dodgy dealers on the street. Many restaurants also serve snake. I love snake meat! Snake soup is also often served at wedding banquets as it is considered to be helpful for one’s fertility. I dunno!

Many Banded Krait

. This entry was posted on Thursday, August 17th, 2017 at 6:01 pm and is filed under Liuzhou News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “Snake Arrested and Released”

  1. David Says:

    Not too keen on these animals meself but can’t help admiring their appearance and abilities , and like you , their taste .

  2. Patricia Lee Farley Says:

    Recently the U.S. mail intercepted 6 king cobras & there might have been a couple other snakes in other boxes being shipped from Hong Kong to NYC. Depite neither rain nor snow…etc. they were not delivered!

  3. Alan Says:

    I have a phobia of snakes too (like many people, I suppose!). As a result, I can recall vividly each time I have encountered a snake here in Guangxi. In the eleven years that I have lived here, I have come across four snakes, I’m sure if I were to venture out into the more rural areas more often, I would no doubt have spotted a lot more.
    The most recent encounter was about two months ago at my apartment complex. I had taken my dog outside for a walk and he decided to take a quick pee in the landscaped area, I happened to notice there was a dark coloured snake moving away in the grass. My immediate concern was to get my dog away, however, I just wish I could have got a photo, as I was curious to know what species it was.

    I also remember seeing a photo of a king cobra snake in the local Liuzhou daily newspaper a few years ago. It was in the classical pose of being very upright and with its distinguishing hood puffed out, the background looked like it was in someone’s kitchen. I asked a Chinese friend to translate it for me and he said it had found its way into a house on the outskirts of Liuzhou – a bite from one of those and you’ll probably have about 25 minutes to find an anti-venom!

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