Video shows giant cobra on Taichung, Taiwan hiking trail

'Prime snake bite season' underway, warns Taichung Tourism Bureau

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(Taichung Tourism Bureau image)

(Taichung Tourism Bureau image)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As the weather heats up and sightings of venomous snakes such as cobras have been on the rise on hiking trails, the Taichung City Tourism Bureau last week posted video of a cobra rearing up right next to a trail marker.

Last Thursday (May 30), the Taichung City Tourism Bureau posted a warning to hikers on its Facebook page to "watch out for snakes in tall grass!" The bureau goes on to say that it's "prime bite season" and advises hikers to bring a walking stick to detect and deter snakes lying in the grass.

The post stated that the cobra was spotted on the Dakeng Trail No. 5-1. The bureau then posted a link to tips on avoiding and treating snakebites.

In the video, the cameraman slowly and cautiously walks down a trail, before zooming in to show a cobra which has raised its head and telltale markings can be seen on its hood. The cobra then turns its head menacingly toward the cameraman, who wisely decides to slowly back away.

Liberty Times reports that some unknown religious group released cobras in the Dakeng Scenic Area a few years ago. Since then, sightings of cobras in bamboo groves and fruit orchards have been on the rise.

Locals have started to encounter the snakes in toilets and under canvases covering their crops. Some have had to fight them off with farming implements for fear of being bitten.

Residents organized teams to hunt for the venomous reptiles, but sightings started to subside. Now that the weather is starting to heat up, this video captured by hikers has surfaced.

The tourism bureau says that the hot weather is spurring the serpents to go venture out more to hunt and mate. The bureau advises members of the public that if they see a snake, they should keep their distance and not try to catch or play with it.

The bureau advised avoiding encounters with snakes by not reaching into tree hollows or lifting rocks. Also, because snakes will take shelter in shaded areas, they advise watching out for snakes hiding in shoes, clothing, and hats.