Wild snake on board plane causes emergency landing

Snake on plane 
By: Sanvi Rizvi 

After a wild snake started running around on board a plane, the crew had no choice, but to make an emergency landing, according to press reports.

The incident forced the pilot to make the emergency landing in the Egyptian resort of Al Ghardaqa in the Red Sea.

An Egypt Air official said that an investigation revealed that the passenger, who is the 48-year-old owner of a reptile store in Kuwait, smuggled an Egyptian cobra on board the plane after he had hidden it on his carry-on bag. The passenger was trying to control the snake after it bit his hand and began to slide under the seats.

The man refused medical treatment, claiming that his wound was superficial. The plane resumed its flight to Kuwait, after local authorities confiscated the snake.

Egyptian cobras are commonly found throughout North Africa.

According to wildlife experts, the cobra venom is so deadly that it can kill a full-grown elephant in three hours or a person in about 15 minutes. The venom destroys nerve tissue and causes paralysis and death from respiratory failure.

Legend has it that in ancient times, Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, used the Egyptian cobra to commit suicide.