A 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.
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.