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Why are these soldiers drinking a cobra's blood?

February 21, 2019 08:12 IST

At the annual Cobra Gold military exercise, you can find international marines seeking out water in unlikely places, eating spider eggs, and even drinking cobra blood.

Take a look!

All photographs: Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters

A soldier is fed snake blood during the Cobra Gold multilateral military exercise in Chanthaburi, Thailand. The military exercise is believed to be the biggest activity of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region with 29 nations taking part as participants or observers.
 

A Thai soldier is bitten by a snake as he presents non-venomous snakes during the Cobra Gold exercise. The exercise, which began on February 14 will go on till February 22, is held in the northern Thai province of Phitsanulok.

A soldier eats a Carambola (star fruit) during exercise. One of the components at the event is learning how to find various sources of water and food in a tropical forest, ranging from animal’s blood to water inside vines.

A soldier is fed a scorpion as part of the military exercise. A Thai Marine instructor said the exercise aimed to make soldiers survive in an emergency situation.

A soldier is fed snake blood at the exercise. Peter Haymond, the acting head of the US diplomatic mission in Thailand was quoted as saying the aim of the exercise was to strengthen cooperation and inter-operability.

At the exercise, a soldier presents rice cooked in a condom. Seven nations in addition to Thailand and the United States are active participants: Singapore, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea. About 4,500 US personnel, on land and sea, are taking part.

A soldier trains with a snake during the Cobra Gold multilateral military exercise. The exercise began in 1982 and has only grown in strength.

The annual event, which began on Wednesday, has more than of 6,800 US troops partaking in the drills -- nearly double the country’s 2018 participation figures.

A soldier is fed an earthworm as part of survival tactics. “We do have that potential of being separated especially in jungle this thick and being able to sustain ourselves is crucial, so yes, it’s very beneficial and necessary,” a US Marine identified as Sergeant Griffin was quoted as telling Reuters.

The other components of the exercise comprises of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training.
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