Snake Bites Man on Plane, Forces Emergency Landing

egyptian cobra, wildlife, Egypt Air, Kuwait, Red Sea, snake on a plan, reptile, venomous snakeA poisonous snake bit a man on a flight from Cairo to Kuwait, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing. A Jordanian passenger who owns a reptile shop in Kuwait smuggled the Egyptian Cobra into his carry-on luggage (a baksheesh or bribe would have made the snake invisible to the Egypt Air security personnel responsible for keeping planes free of snakes.) The cobra escaped from the bag, bit its captor and proceeded to slither off into the passenger isle.

After the Egyptian Cobra escaped, the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing in the Red Sea resort town of Al Ghardaqa, the Jordan Times reports.

But the man, who said that his wound was not serious, refused medical attention, according to local paper Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Egyptian Cobras are the largest cobras on the African continent, averaging one to two meters in length. They have been known to grow as large as three meters. They are nocturnal and have occasionally been found swimming in the Mediterranean Sea.

Its venom is comprised of neurotoxins and cytotoxins and yields up to 300mg in a single bite. This paralyzes nerve signals first to the muscles and then to the heart and lungs. Medical authorities are said to have encouraged the Kuwaiti man to stay for 24 hour observation, but he insisted that he was fine.

Egyptian Cobras representing the goddess Wadjet were a symbol of sovereignty for the Pharaohs and some people believe that Queen Cleopatra committed suicide by having one smuggled into her room in a basket.

In the Middle East, the truth is so much wilder than fiction.

About Tafline Laylin

As a tour leader who led “eco-friendly” camping trips throughout North America, Tafline soon realized that she was instead leaving behind a trail of gas fumes, plastic bottles and Pringles. In fact, wherever she traveled – whether it was Viet Nam or South Africa or England – it became clear how inefficiently the mandate to re-think our consumer culture is reaching the general public. Born in Iran, raised in South Africa and the United States, she currently splits her time between Africa and the Middle East. Tafline can be reached at tafline (at) greenprophet (dot) com, @teakettle22,

5 thoughts on “Snake Bites Man on Plane, Forces Emergency Landing

  1. Dave Jones

    Your article does not mention if the guy was arrested for smuggling .
    Smuggling is one of the biggest causes of reptile and amphibian decline the world over and many, many species will become extinct in the wild as a result .
    Many bites from venomous snakes are ‘dry’ bites where no venom is injected into the antagonist . This is probably why the wound was not serious .
    Also – small point , Egyptian Cobras are not the largest Cobras on the African continent . That title goes to the Forest Cobra ( Naja molanoleuca ) .

  2. Robert Garrett

    Just so you’re aware, something is “poisonous” when you eat it and it makes you sick. But when a snake bites you and injects its venom, the snake is “venomous,” not “poisonous.” The snake only becomes poisonous if you eat it, and you get sick.


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