It’s the Cobra-wealth Games

As if the threat of terrorism, shoddy construction or dengue fever wasn’t enough, athletes and visitors to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi now have another potentially-dangerous hazard to consider – snakes.

Continuing a dramatic build up to the event, which begins in six days, it emerged on Monday a full-grown cobra had to be removed from one of the Games venues – the RK Khanna Tennis Complex – late on Sunday afternoon.

It came just hours after a South African official claimed a snake was also found in a room earmarked for his country’s athletes at the Games village.

The Times of India reported an animal rescue group had to be called to the tennis venue to remove the cobra, which was then released back into the wild.

Apparently, it was not unusual for snakes and other animals to show up in odd places in the post-monsoon season, while organisers were being urged to quickly devise an animal control plan for the event.

South African high commissioner Harris Mbulelo Mejeke was less than impressed after a reptile was discovered in his country’s section of the village.

“It was a threat to the lives of our athletes.” he said.

“Very disappointing. I don’t know whether it was an Indian snake. But it was there in one of our rooms.” The criticism follows a wave of concern from several countries over the state of the athletes’ village.

However, Australian officials have remained positive about the accommodation having spent several days cleaning and sealing up the rooms themselves. Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti could even see the funny side of the latest drama on Monday.

“We come from a country that has the most venomous snakes in the world so if any country is prepared, it is probably us,” Moneghetti told reporters.

“Maybe we planted a couple … It’s only a cobra.

“… It’s not something we can control, and I am sure the athletes are not going to be fazed by that.

“It would be a concern if it was on the training track but I don’t think something like that is going to happen.”

Around 50 Australian athletes, including members of the lawn bowls, gymnastics and netball teams, arrived in Delhi on Monday and were set to move straight into the village.

Buford Balony says: I wish I was in India, I would hunt all them snakes & eat em, then make boots & hats outta em!


Join our mailing list to receive the latest news directly in your email inbox.