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Posted by W von Papineäu on December 18, 2002 at 11:05:07:
ASSOCIATED PRESS 18 December 02
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (AP): A Dutch tourist who tried to take a nap in his hotel room in Malaysia was attacked and temporarily blinded in one eye by a cobra that had slithered under his pillow, an official said Wednesday.
Jaroean Ferdinand, 27, spent two days in a hospital after the snake spat venom into his right eye, causing a slight laceration on his cornea, said Sim Tong Him, a member of the state legislature in the tourist city of Malacca, 95 miles south of Kuala Lumpur.
Equatorial spitting cobras are found in many old towns in Malaysia and Thailand. They prey mostly on rats and frogs and spit a powerful neurotoxic venom that triggers temporary blindness. They grow up to 5.3 feet long and their bites can be fatal.
Ferdinand “mentioned his trip was rather spoiled,” Sim said. “But he was pleased with the hospital treatment, and as far as I know, he hasn't filed any complaint.”
Ferdinand, quoted by the Mandarin-language China Press newspaper, said he checked into his room Sunday and was settling into bed when he “felt something wriggling under the pillow.”
A 24-inch cobra then lunged at him. He ducked, but the reptile's venom struck his eye. His screams alerted hotel staff, who rushed in and killed the snake, Sim said.
The hotel was investigating how the cobra got into the room.
Ferdinand left Malacca on Wednesday to visit neighboring Singapore, Sim said.