Today in DON'T FUCK WITH SNAKES, a chef in southern China died when a spitting cobra he was preparing to cook bit him on the hand...20 minutes after he decapitated it. Chef Peng Fan was making snake soup—a regional specialty made with spitting cobra meat, which reportedly has "spectacular health benefits"—and was bitten when he picked up the snake's head to throw it away.

Via Daily Mail:

Restaurant guest Lin Sun, 44, who was in the restaurant with his wife Su at the time said: 'We were in the restaurant having a meal for my wife's birthday when suddenly there was a lot of commotion.

'We did not know what was happening but could hear screams coming from the kitchen.

'There were calls for a doctor in the restaurant but unfortunately by the time medical assistance arrived the man had already died.

'After we heard that we did not continue with our meal.'

Police say Peng died before he could be given life saving anti-venom in hospital. Victims of the Indochinese spitting cobra generally asphyxiate after the neurotoxin paralyses their respiratory system.

A police spokesman said: 'It is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident. The man had a very severe reaction to the bite.

'There was nothing that could be done to save the man. Only the anti-venom could have helped but this was not given in time.

'He prepared the snake himself and was just unlucky. It was just a tragic accident.'

Reptiles can reportedly "function for up to an hour after losing body parts, or even their entire body," say snake experts, and the bite that killed Chef Peng was mostly likely due to reflexive spasms, not the animus of a vengeful spirit. (Really graphic, disturbing video of a snake being decapitated for no reason is available at that Daily Mail link.)

Ugh, what a horrible, needless way to go. Condolences to his family and friends. And the snake's.