Bruce 58>> recounts a close encounter that occurred while he was scouting locations for a film on snake charmers:   24>>

  • The head of the village pulls out a king cobra between 10 and 12 feet [3 to 4 meters] long. He lets it go and it comes toward me and slithers right past my feet.

  • King cobras are among the most deadly snakes on Earth. You don’t have much time to survive if you’re bitten by one.

  • I started thinking, Well, do these guys have antivenin here in their little village?

  • Absolutely all bets were off. I know that snakes key in on movement to bite. I just sat there. I froze. I let the snakes come by. I smiled at the snake charmers,   16>> nodded my head.

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© 1998 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.

Bruce on Venom Roulette

Charming Snakes
Photographs 58 and 24 by
Stella Cha

Photograph 16 by
John Scofield