Maid kills venomous cobra with broom handle

A maid first tried to chase away the cobra, but failed to do so. She then repeatedly hit it until its body was split into two.
A maid first tried to chase away the cobra, but failed to do so. She then repeatedly hit it until its body was split into two.PHOTO: CARLOS CHUA

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - A cobra that wandered into a landed property home near Dover MRT on Monday morning (May 7) was clubbed to death by the family's maid.

Mr Carlos Chua, 19, a full-time national serviceman, said he told his family to stay indoors and to leash the family's 12-year-old beagle when he saw the snake.

He told The New Paper: "It was acting aggressively to anyone who got near it. I knew that some cobras can spit venom, so I did not get any closer."

The equatorial spitting cobra - also known as the black spitting cobra - is venomous, said the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres).

Mr Chua said the snake, which was about 50cm long, reared its head from behind plastic pails in the garden when he saw it.

After he left for work at about 8.30am, his Filipino maid, who has been with the family for about 16 years, decided to take matters into her own hands.

The maid, who wanted to be known only as Ms Mhelyn, 48, said: "I felt nervous when I saw the snake. Even though there was no one at home, I was afraid it might bite my employer."

 
 
 

Wielding a metre-long broom handle, she tried to chase the cobra out, but it became more agitated.

She said: "I didn't want to kill it at first, but it got angrier and refused to move."

She repeatedly hit the cobra until its body was split into two, and disposed of the carcass.

According to the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum's website, this species of cobra is usually not aggressive if left alone. When threatened, it might spray venom from its fangs.

The spray can cover a distance of more than a metre, and can cause temporary blindness.

If bitten, a victim's nervous system will get affected by the venom and the result can prove fatal.

Acres' deputy chief executive, Mr Kalai Vanan, told TNP that cobras would not actively attack people. If faced with a similar situation, the public is advised to call the Acres rescue hotline at 9783-7782.

"Attempting to provoke, hurt or kill the snake would only aggravate the situation, which would cause it to be defensive," Mr Kalai said.