A Chinese Town Famous for Its Creepy Snakes

Residents of Zisiqiao Village raise over 3 million snakes a year.

Image
Reuters

Well, this is kind of wild. China's sleepy Zisiqiao Village is famous for raising many, many snakes. Three million a year, to be precise. Many of the farming families host literally thousands of poisonous serpents in their homes.

It all started in 1985, when an industrious village resident started selling snakes to vendors. They proved so popular that he began to worry he'd run out -- so he learned to breed them.

According to Reuters:

Cobras, vipers and pythons are everywhere in Zisiqiao, aptly known as the snake village, where the reptiles are deliberately raised for use as food and in traditional medicine, bringing in millions of dollars to a village that otherwise would rely solely on farming.

Demand for snakes has risen across China, especially since the government began to push for breeding animals used in traditional medicine. Below, photos from Zisigiao.

A snake is seen at the snake farm in Zisiqiao village, Zhejiang Province.  (Aly Song/Reuters)
Residents slaughter snakes for food at the snake farm in Zisiqiao village, Zhejiang Province. (Aly Song/Reuters)
A resident holds tails of snakes at a snake farm in Zisiqiao village, Zhejiang Province. (Aly Song/Reuters)



Yang Hongchang, boss of a snake rearing company holds a snake at a snake farm in Zisiqiao village. (Aly Song/Reuters)


 

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.