Walker thwarts cobra smugglers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2012, 12:00am

A Lantau Island resident walking her dogs at night discovered by chance nearly 800 live venomous Chinese cobras in plastic boxes by the sea.

Okka Scherer was exercising her dogs on Pui O beach, when they discovered the 789 snakes inside a stack of 181 plastic containers.

'I went to check out what was going on,' said Scherer, who had earlier seen two men acting suspiciously nearby. 'I started moving through the bushes and there were the boxes full of snakes.'

Police arrived after half an hour and stood guard overnight until the Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department picked up the snakes the next morning.

The haul of snakes, the biggest in years, might have been intended for dinner tables, the department said.

The cobras were later put down humanely by a vet.

Police have not said where the snakes had come from, or where they were being taken. No arrests have been made.

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