Editor’s Note: This post includes graphic images and footage.
U.S. Marines were training in Thailand this week as part of a jungle survival exercise where they learned to find water, shelter and food, which for some, included drinking snake blood.
Cobra Gold 2013 was conducted with the Royal Thai Marines, giving soldiers insight in what the Marines’ press release stated could someday mean the “difference between life and death.”
“This is the Thai’s home, it is the environment they were raised in,” Sgt. Robert Dominguez, a squad leader with the MRF Platoon, 31st MEU, said in a statement. “Most of the Marines here are accustomed to the desert environment with hardly any knowledge on how to live off of the jungle.”
The highlight might have been Chief Petty Officer First Class Veing Pimsorn, a Royal Thai reconnaissance Marine, showing the 90 soldiers how to kill and prepare three snakes, including a king cobra. The Marines were allowed to choose whether or not to try the cobra’s blood, which the press release stated is full of nutrients.
Here are photos from this year’s training as well as a few from last year:
“Drinking the blood of the King Cobra is a survival technique used to maintain hydration deep in the jungle,” Pimsorn said in a statement. “With all of these techniques combined, an isolated U.S. or Thai Marine could survive off the jungle.”
Here is footage of the training:
This was the 32nd time such a training with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit has been conducted.