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Marines toughen up by drinking snake blood in Thai jungle
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Marines toughen up by drinking snake blood in Thai jungle

US and Thai marines swallowed cobra blood straight from a severed snakes mouth during annual jungle survival training.

Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia attracting thousands of troops from the US, Thailand and South Korea.

The training, now in its 37th year, last for 10 days and trials include slurping snake blood, eating geckos and removing venom from scorpions and tarantulas.

A trial which consisted of drinking severed cobra blood and then grilling and eating the snakes took place today on a Thai navy base in Chonburi province.  

US and Thai marines swallowed cobra blood straight from a severed snakes mouth during annual jungle survival training

US and Thai marines swallowed cobra blood straight from a severed snakes mouth during annual jungle survival training

Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia attracting thousands of troops from the US, Thailand and South Korea

Cobra Gold is one of the largest military exercises in Asia attracting thousands of troops from the US, Thailand and South Korea

Being stuck in a jungle is a real-life situation that the troops might be stuck in at some point in the future and the war drills prepare them for that.

The marines were also taught how to find water in jungle vines and identify edible plants by military trainers. 

The boot camp in Thailand’s Chonburi province includes humanitarian components such as evacuation drills, as well as traditional military exercises such as an amphibious vehicle landing drill. 

The training, now in its 37th year, last for 10 days and trials include slurping snake blood, eating geckos and removing venom from scorpions and tarantulas 

The training, now in its 37th year, last for 10 days and trials include slurping snake blood, eating geckos and removing venom from scorpions and tarantulas 

Being stuck in a jungle is a real-life situation that the troops might be stuck in at some point in the future and the war drills prepare them for that by completing the trials

Being stuck in a jungle is a real-life situation that the troops might be stuck in at some point in the future and the war drills prepare them for that by completing the trials

Some 11,075 troops from 29 countries including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore also participated in this year's drills. 

Thai Sergeant Major Chaiwat Ladsin, who led the drill that also saw the marines take bites of a raw gecko, said: 'The key to survival is knowing what to eat.'

After the training US Sergeant Christopher Fiffie, said: 'Definitely my first time drinking snake blood... It's not something we do too often in America.'

He added: 'I think I'll be able to hold my own out there.'

This years attendance at the Cobra Gold exercise attracted double the amount of US personnel compared to last year.

A trial which consisted of drinking severed cobra blood and then grilling and eating the snakes took place today on a Thai navy base in Chonburi province

A trial which consisted of drinking severed cobra blood and then grilling and eating the snakes took place today on a Thai navy base in Chonburi province

Some 11,075 troops from 29 countries including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore also participated in this year's drills

Some 11,075 troops from 29 countries including Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore also participated in this year's drills

The 6,8000 marines in attendance were the latest sign of warming relations between the two allies. 

A 2014 army coup in Thailand tested ties with Washington, which urged a return to democracy and scaled back military aid.

But the two countries have upped their engagement under US President Donald Trump, who has taken a softer stance on human rights issues and even embraced Thai junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha in the White House.

 This years attendance at the Cobra Gold exercise attracted double the amount of US personnel compared to last year

 This years attendance at the Cobra Gold exercise attracted double the amount of US personnel compared to last year

The US is also keen to flex its military muscle in Asia amid tensions with North Korea over the pariah state's nuclear missile programme.

US embassy spokesman Stephane Castonguay said: 'The (attendance) numbers are reflective of the US commitment in the region.

'The focus of this exercise still remains humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, in addition to community relations projects.

Thai military trainers also taught troops how to remove venom from scorpions and tarantulas before eating them

Thai military trainers also taught troops how to remove venom from scorpions and tarantulas before eating them