It takes a lot to get pulled over by the police in Hanoi: drivers routinely speed, run red lights, invent lanes where there aren't any, but one driver managed to draw the attention of the police: he had 53 king cobras in his car.
King cobras are the world's longest venemous snake, reaching up to a terrifying 18 feet in length (constrictor snakes can be much longer). Their meat is considered a delicacy in Vietnam, and they are sometimes used in traditional medicine. It is illegal, however, to hunt or trade king cobras. It's alarming that anyone would need a deterrent from hunting an 18-foot poisonous snake, but we live in a large and crazy world.
Officer Dang Van Hanh said Monday the live snakes were taken to a wildlife rescue center where they will be treated, then released back into the wild. Hanh said that the driver told officers that he was paid to transport the snakes. For his troubles, he would get something under $50. That goes farther in Vietnam than it does in many countries, but you would think the guy could at least get a dollar per snake.