The news just broke that police officers and custom officials in Thailand succeeded in delivering the illegal wildlife trade a serious blow: they rescued as many as 600 cobras and intend to release them back into their natural habitats as soon as possible.
These poisonous snakes were hidden in a truck and Thai custom officials found them when the vehicle was stopped for a thorough investigation at a checkpoint in one of the country's central regions, fairly close to Bangkok.
Apparently, somebody provided the custom officials with some information concerning this cobra shipment, which is why they decided to have a closer look at the truck.
It is believed that the snakes were caught in various parts of Malaysia and that they were being transported to a third-world country, where they would have been killed in order to produce traditional medicine from various parts of their bodies.
Apparently, some of them would have ended up being eaten by the people who purchased them.
It is quite likely that the snakes’ final destination would have been Laos, Sky News says.
Global Animal informs us that, according to various estimates, these 600 cobras were worth a total of $16,500 (€12,996).
In order to transport them through Thailand, the smugglers involved in this operation stuffed them in mesh bags and plastic containers.
As was to be expected, this caused some of the snakes to die before custom officials had any chance of rescuing them.
Naturally, the man driving the truck got arrested and it is to be expected that he will soon be made to face the legal consequences of his actions.
Meanwhile, the cobras are looked after by the people at the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and Plant Conservation in Thailand, and once veterinarians decide that the snakes are in good health, they will be released back into the wild.
Footage of the snakes and the rescue operation is made available to you in the video below.