Although EgyptAir’s plane had just one unwelcome reptile on board instead of the dozens that Jackson had to contend with, the cobra caused an emergency landing after it bit its owner—a Jordanian man who had smuggled the serpent in his hand luggage—and started wriggling its way under the seats. The aircraft, which was transporting 90 passengers from Cairo to Kuwait, made an abrupt landing at the airport of a Red Sea resort, according to the Jordan Times. The flight resumed after authorities ejected the passenger and his contraband reptile.
The snake’s 48-year-old handler, Akram Adbul Latif, owns a reptile store in Kuwait and refused emergency medical treatment for his wound, insisting the bite was superficial. Latif also declined to heed doctors’ suggestions that he spend 24 hours in hospital as a precautionary measure, the Jordanian paper reported, as cobra venom can be fatal.
CNN noted that the venom can kill a full-grown elephant within three hours and a human in just 15 minutes, as the poison destroys nerve tissues, induces paralysis and causes respiratory failure.