Snakes at unlicenced farm in China face slaughter if not wanted by legal breeders
Thousands of cobras at an unlicenced snake farm in eastern China face being culled after 200 reptiles went missing from the farm and 50 remain at large.
The local authority said more than 1,000 venomous cobras at the farm in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, might be killed if no other snake farm wants to take them, the Modern Express reported.
More than 200 cobras escaped from the farm in August, of which about 150 were recaptured or killed. Fifty baby cobras were still missing, causing panic among nearby residents, the report said.
Earlier in August, the 52-year-old farm manager surnamed Qin bought monocled cobra eggs from Guangdong, and hatched 1,500 cobras.
Qin did not have a snake-farming licence, the report said.
The Nanjing public security bureau, as well as the local procuratorate, said they were investigating the case and had taken control of more than 1,000 cobras from the farm, while planning how to deal with them.
They had contacted farms in Sichuan and Guangdong in the hope other farms could take the cobras but with no success, as breeders worried about cross infection from the snakes.
The cobras could be killed if no one wanted them, an employee dealing with the case was quoted as saying.