American troops are drinking snake blood and eating live scorpions as part of survival training in an annual military exercise with their Thai counterparts.
Coba Gold 2020 began Feb. 25 and will run through Friday in the Thai Jungle. The largest joint multinational military exercise in the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the event involves live-fire drills, amphibious assault landing practice and – for the first time – landmine reduction and participation of the F-35 Lightning attack jets.
About 4,500 members of the U.S. military from all four branches are taking part in the exercise, which has been cohosted by the United States and Thailand since 1982. The Americans are among 9,630 military personnel on hand from 29 countries.
Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea are among the nations involved in the core military drills. China and India are participating in humanitarian assistance exercises. And the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and France part of disaster-relief training.
Marines drink blood from decapitated snake
Images published by the Daily Mail show U.S. Marines taking part in the jungle survival training, including drinking blood directly from a decapitated cobra, eating live cobras and killing chickens with their bare hands.
In a series of photos, the Marines can bee seen holding a snake’s dripping body over their heads, with blood splashed across their grinning faces.
Less savage imagery from the event is documented on the official Facebook page.
Thai instructors also taught the Marines how to catch and kill cobras and to find and safely eat scorpions, tarantulas and other jungle creatures. Additional training given on locating vegetation that can provide sustenance or water.
The Pentagon had reduced U.S. participation in the 2015 exercise to protest a military coup that toppled Thailand’s caretaker government the previous year. But the involvement of Marines and other troops was scaled back up after President Donald Trump took office.