Thai man sparks panic after leaving his pet King Cobra in the back of pickup truck

A driver sparked panic after taking his pet King Cobra for a ride - then leaving it alone in the back of his pickup truck.

The snake owner, who was not named, parked up and went to the toilet while leaving the 9ft long snake in the open flat-bed part of the vehicle.

With ho human nearby, shocked locals thought the beast had slithered onto the car from nearby woodland.

Several people fled after noticing the highly venomous reptile stretched out along the side of the vehicle in Phetchaburi, western Thailand on Saturday (August 24) morning.

Fruit vendor Jantra Nokyoongthong, 43, said that she was terrified when she saw the snake lifting his head up from the cab parked in front of her shop.

She said: ''I cried in a panic when I saw the snake. Everybody also came to see him but nobody wanted to get close until the owner came.

''He told us that his snake understood what humans were saying. He proved it by calling his pet to give him a kiss on a cheek and he did.

''Jan-Jao was very calm and also let us pet him on his head. That was the first time I ever touched a snake. I'm very amazed by how smart and how cute he was.''

The pet owner told Jantra that he had stopped in the car park for a rest and moved the snake from the passenger seat to the back of the truck for it to get some fresh air.

Locals and tourists were frightened after noticing the huge serpent slithering around the car, mistaking that he was a wild beast falling from a tree nearby.

The man rushed back and claimed to be the snake owner, saying that Jan-Jaowas friendly and not harmful. Residents then gathered to pet and take photos with him.

The king cobra is believed to have had its fangs removed in order for it to be domesticated. One bite from a wild king cobra would kill the victim within a few hours unless they were given anti-venom immediately after the bite.