A chef in China was killed while cooking a rare spitting cobra soup after the decapitated reptile suddenly bit him.

The soup is considered a rare delicacy in South China and the chef, Peng Fan, from Foshan, was proud to have it on his menu.

He decapitated the Indochinese Spitting Cobra and spent 20 minutes making the soup, before starting to clean the kitchen.

When he picked up the head to throw it in the bin, the deadly reptile struck him with its highly venomous fangs.

44-year-old Lin Sun was celebrating his wife’s birthday at the restaurant "when suddenly there was a lot of commotion," he said.

"We did not know what was happening but could hear screams coming from the kitchen."

"There were calls for a doctor in the restaurant but unfortunately by the time medical assistance arrived the man had already died."

"After we heard that we did not continue with our meal," Sun said.

A police spokesman said,"it is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident. Mr. Fan had a very severe reaction to the bite".

"There was nothing that could be done to save the man. Only the anti-venom could have helped but this was not given in time."

"He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky. It was just a tragic accident," the officer said,

Experts say that snakes and other reptiles can continue to make reactive movements for up to an hour after being severed or killed.

"It is perfectly possible that the head remained alive and bit Peng's hand. By the time a snake has lost its head, it's effectively dead as basic body functions have ceased, but there is still some reflexive action. It means snakes have the capability of biting and injecting venom even after the head has been severed," an expert said.

The venom from spitting cobras contains neurotoxins that can kill paralyze its victims and suffocate them to death within 30 minutes. As their name suggests these reptiles prefer to attack from range. They are sharpshooters and always aim for the eyes.

In some countries, snake meat is a favorite delicacy as they believe it has mystical health benefits. This has led to some rare species being hunted almost to extinction.

Representation image. Pixabay.

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