A snake handler puckers up and kisses a giant king cobra!
In a fearless performance the 22-year-old, known as Olay, goes mouth to mouth with the deadly reptile – thought to be one of the biggest in Thailand.
The heart-stopping moment was filmed at the Krabi Snake Farm, in Krabi, Thailand, by American videographer Joel Pierce.
During the show the snake raises its head 3ft from the ground and repeatedly lunges at Olay. However, the expert handler is able to mesmerise the cobra and put his mouth over the venomous snake’s face. Yes, he kissed a snake that could have killed him.
Joel, who lives in Pattaya, Thailand, said: ‘It was the biggest cobra I’d ever seen – about 4in wide.
‘The handler looked like he was just a kid but he was totally fearless. You could tell he knew what he was doing.’
‘The announcer told us it was captured in the Sheraton Krabi Beach Resort and made part of the show,’ says Joel.
‘The snake farm employees make their money by collecting snakes that have wondered onto private property. They remove the snake and keep it from getting killed by the landowners. They then milk the snakes to make anti-venom for the local hospitals.’
The king cobra’s venom is one of the most lethal and fast-acting neurotoxins found in nature. A single bite can incapacitate a human respiratory system within 30 minutes unless an injection of anti-venom is immediately available.
‘A lot of people will get physically ill when they see snakes like this in person,’ says Joel.
Cobra handlers at the snake farm also interact with black cobras, pythons and jumping snakes – but the king cobra is usually left for the grand finale.
A spokesman for the farm said: ‘Olay started working with snakes at a young age. So I think has developed a gift for this. Over the last few years he has really mastered the art of handling snakes.’