Baby vs. Snake June 27, 2007

Baby vs. Snake

I’m not a big fan of tradition. I’m also not a big fan of snakes.

I am a fan of dead baby jokes.

So you would think I’d be conflicted about this video… (warning: it’s graphic):

Makes you want to vomit, doesn’t it?

It’s appalling. Disturbing. Dangerous. Forget tradition; these parents need to be locked up. I’ll adopt the baby. It’s cute.

Apparently, pitting baby against cobra is a rite of passage (or as this article says, “a ‘bite’ of passage) for snake-charming families in India. It is supposed to teach the child not to fear the snake.

The cobra has been defanged and its mouth is stitched up. But it doesn’t make the video any less frightening. Not to mention that cobras’ fangs grow back quickly, according to animal rights groups protesting this practice.

Even if the fangs are not an issue, the last few seconds of the video are even scarier. And they showcase another danger with this practice.

Where’s the critical thinking when you need it?

(via Sepia Mutiny)

[tags]atheist, atheism, baby, cobra, snake charming, Sepia Mutiny[/tags]

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • THz

    That’s so horrible. It’s so bad that I just couldn’t even stop watching. I can’t believe that this stuff happens. I think it’s pretty obvious that that child isn’t learning anything about avoiding snakes and cobras. I never put my hand on a hot burner but I somehow managed to learn not to touch it – there has got to be a better way then that. Now I need to figure out how to sleep tonight. *shudders*

  • Let’s see, if you let your baby play with a deadly snake, what has the baby learned? A cobra is not something to be feared, but an interesting toy.
    Quite disturbing.

  • Maria

    ohhh…….that’s awful………..

  • anti-nonsense

    ugh! That’s horrid and disgusting.

    Sick sick sick.

  • Richard Wade

    After the above comments I’m not going to watch this video. Have you ever seen someone sniff something, grimace in disgust, say “Eeww! Gross! Smell that!” and the next person amazingly steps up eagerly to smell it too? Why the heck do they do that?

  • Jen

    If you teach a baby how to play with a snake, what does the baby learn?
    Mom and Dad are insane, and not to be trusted.

  • Is this a traditional thing? Reminds me of the religious people that handle rattlers. I think this baby just sees the snake as a toy also. What about when they see a snake in the wild after that and it has not had his fangs removed?

  • I want to know what happened after the end of the clip. Sure, the fangs might not be a problem, sure, the mouth is tied shut – but when the snake decides to wrap itself around the kid…. is THAT a problem?

  • Desert Son

    Not going to watch it. I had the same reaction as the Man in the Hat when I first saw Raider’s of the Lost Ark in the theater (aging myself there) lo those many moons ago.

    “There’s a big snake in the movie, Jock!” Later, there were many big snakes in the movie, Jock.

    This is just one of those things in life I don’t need to see. In the meantime it continues to be a truly, truly strange life here on planet Earth. Some days it’s beautiful. Some days it’s horrifying.

    No kings,


  • Mriana

    OMG! It would not take but one bite from that cobra to kill that child. I would have killed the snake as fast as I saw it near the baby- fangless or not. 🙁 I really do not like snakes, esp when they pose a danger. That baby is going to grow up thinking that they can play with all snakes.

    These people are INSANE!

    Can I be an adoptive grandmother, Hemant, if you adopt it? She is cute.

  • Desert Son

    And some days, it’s so horrifying, that you make a plural a possessive, and don’t realize it until you’ve already posted the comment.

    That should have been Raiders of the Lost Ark, not Raider’s.

    That baby is going to grow up thinking that they can play with all snakes

    To be fair, that’s not necessarily true. While I agree that this situation is the wrong way to go about educating and acclimating children to the natural environment and creatures therein, the child may, along the way (assuming it lives long enough) come to learn that not all snakes are venomous.

    There’s a separate lesson to be learned, even then, and that’s whether to “play” with wild creatures (it can hurt the player and the playee alike) regardless of venom or not, of course.

    The issue ultimately, it seems, is personal responsibility. I enjoy watching nature shows about sharks, and there’s all kinds of reasons why people shouldn’t rationally be antagonizing anything with that many teeth and that kind of jaw-muscle strength, but at the same time, presumably they are adults and can make those decisions on their own (by the same token, it pisses me off when Fish & Wildlife has to kill a bear or mountain lion because of an attack in the wilderness. You go into the wilderness, you take the risk. You learn about the wilderness first, learn how not to provoke animals, how to avoid encounters, and you still take the risk. Bear doesn’t deserve to die just because a person was dumb enough to leave food accessible, or try to pet a cub, or even because someone was smart enough to take every precaution and just got caught by circumstance).

    Groom people for snake charming, fine, if that’s what people capable of making the decision want to do (I’m not a fan of snake charming as well, simply because, again, is this really where the snake should be? Again, different topic), but that child has no say in the matter, and perhaps not even cognitive ability yet developed to understand the possible consequence involved. Parents have the responsibility in that case, and this seems like a bad call, or abdication of that responsibility.

    No kings,


  • Not to take away from the disturbing nature of this video, but to allay some fears for the child, remember that cobras aren’t constrictors.

  • Mriana

    the child may, along the way (assuming it lives long enough) come to learn that not all snakes are venomous.

    She doesn’t know the snake is venomous now! If no one tells her what is and what isn’t, she won’t know the difference and right now, they aren’t telling her the difference obviously.

  • Desert Son,
    After I left my brief comment I started thinking I should go back and post my thoughts about the cruelty of de-fanging and sewing shut the mouth of the cobra. Personally I like snakes, as I do all animals both wild and domestic and hate seeing them mistreated.

    Similar words about assuming the risk when you venture into the wilderness come from my lips whenever I hear or read one of those aweful stories about a bear or mountain lion being killed. The mountains, forest, desert, etc. are THEIR homes and HUMANS are the invaders, so those who chose to live in or visit an area that is home to these dangerous creatures needs to learn how to live with them and respect them and their environment.

  • Desert Son


    Well said. I’m not a fan of snakes, but theirs is no less a place in the universe. Ultimately, we’re both creatures made up of long chains of hydrocarbons and we’re both trying to eat, make it through the day, and procreate (except I’m more interested in the recreation that leads to procreation, and not as much in the procreation itself 😉 ).

    As to the wilderness, personally, I feel like the wilderness is everyone’s home, animal and human alike (after all, we’re animals, too). It’s a particularly pernicious human problem (not always exclusively), though, that we treat our home with such disdain, the kind of disdain you describe, whether encroaching on animal space or ignoring wilderness lore at our peril, careless deposition of refuse and pollutants, or sewing the mouth of an animal shut.

    No kings,


  • Darryl

    We’ve got our work cut out for us.

  • Darryl

    Just add this to the uncountable sum of reasons why indiscriminate multiculturalism is simple-minded.

  • I had the impression from watching the video that the child was rather safe. But that’s an awful cruelty to the snake. It’s obviously agitated, and can’t defend itself even if the child grabs it around the throat.

    I saw a while back a Jeff Corwin documentary of some cobra celebration in India. Stuff like this wasn’t shown in there though–either they didn’t show him that or he knew that the Animal Planet viewers wouldn’t like it.

  • Bill

    I’m the father of a two-year-old (Evan) and owner of a snake (a four-foot red rat). While I don’t condone what appears to be cruelty to the snake (I can’t really put myself in the “snake’s shoes”), I guess I can imagine putting my child in a similar situation IF I were okay with raising them as a snake-charmer. I’m less squimish about it then I would be to teach my son how to handle a gun. Incidently, Evan learned not to touch oven burners because I let him touch a hot oven burner…

  • Mriana

    Incidently, Evan learned not to touch oven burners because I let him touch a hot oven burner…

    That makes no logical sense. Are you saying that you’d have your son learn about snakes by allowing him to get bit by a copperhead? I known more than one child who actually died from snake bites (mostly copperheads in this area). Even a hot burner can leave a child permenently scarred to say the least.

    Then again, I allowed my sons to climb on counter tops and alike when they were little. Why not, I do. Not as much now that my sons are almost 6′. They like helping their 4′ 11″ mama out since they can now. 😆 It might not seem like the same thing, but my older one almost got his head busted open once because he fell from climbing. He had a real good size goose egg on his head and two beet coloured eyes and I do mean beet coloured. He was maybe 10 y.o. by that time. I’ve never fallen, but my older one did.

    My point is, we might not think much of something because we’ve never had anything bad happen or think the best way to learn is by doing, but it’s not always a good idea to let our kids do it.

  • Bill

    My son learns about snakes by seeing them close up when my wife and I catch them in the yard (non-poisonous ones) and when we handle our pet. Occasionally we let him touch, but then we all have to wash our hands (salmonella, you know). The stove burner was hot, but not enough to burn.

    I’m learning that child-rearing has a wide-ranging continuum of comfort zones associated with it. My comfort zone is always changing as my son grows and learns. Parenting decisions can be very arbitrary at times, and of course my wife has veto power…

  • Mriana

    I’ve always been more comfortable with researching the answers to questions when it comes to my sons rather than hands on stuff, unless I know it is completely harmless.

    However, my sons learned the stove was hot and could burn when one of our cats jumped up on it and well… she started to run while having her rear flaming. The quick thinking and good aim of my older son kept her from going up in flames- he threw water on her. 😆 She was smoking for a bit, but was lucky to have just singe fur and a bit indignant from having water thrown on her. She forgave him though. 😀

  • stevo

    the parents should be locked up!!
    the end of the video is worse, does anyone know what happened to the baby, did the baby survive?

  • devadasi1

    you people are cretins. this child is not in danger. snake charming is a tradition passed through the generations and these people have been doing this for way longer than America existed. Thank the Gods you judgemental pants peeing milktoasts dont get to make laws for the rest of the world.

  • Piecukonis

    I am absolutely horrified at this. I can’t believe anyone would do this to a baby…especially parents. Forget tradition!! I am even equally appalled at the practice of defanging and stitching up the mouth of the snake.

error: Content is protected !!