Snakes Beheaded, Geckos Eaten Alive, and Chickens Mutilated in Military Drill

U.S. troops were caught on video proudly drinking blood from beheaded cobras, gutting and eating live geckos, killing chickens with their bare hands, and chomping on the live bodies of other animals while their comrades feverishly cheered them on. The gruesome scenes—more reminiscent of a fraternity hazing ritual than military training—took place during the Cobra Gold 2020 military exercise. Thousands of U.S. troops participate in the annual event held in Thailand in conjunction with the Thai military and other nations’ armed forces, ostensibly to learn how to survive when stranded in a jungle.

A GIF of U.S. Marines with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, participating in jungle survival training with instruction from service members of the Royal Thai Marine Corps as part of exercise Cobra Gold 2020 at Ban Chan Khrem, Kingdom of Thailand, March 2, 2020. Marines are sitting with their mouths open and tongues out, getting cobra blood dripped onto their tongues.

In 2020, PETA fired off a letter to the Marine Corps commandant as well as a letter to the then-secretary of defense, urging them to end the use of live animals during this training. In those letters, we provided numerous animal-free options for the purported survival training and pointed out that the killing and consumption of wild animals poses a dangerous threat of zoonotic diseases akin to the novel coronavirus. In 2021, we also filed a petition for rulemaking with the U.S. Department of Defense, urging it to begin regulatory proceedings to eliminate the cruel bloodlust-killing of animals in this exercise.

Please join us by taking action below.

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U.S. Marines Kill Cobras, Drink Their Blood for Cobra Gold 'Training'

After you’ve signed the alert, please post polite comments on the Facebook and Twitter accounts below and urge the U.S. Marines, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Thai Ministry of Defence to eliminate the use of live animals in Cobra Gold exercises. Please don’t skip these important steps.

U.S. Marine Corps:

U.S. Department of Defense:

Thai Minister of Defence:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind