Malayan krait

Bungarus candidus, commonly known as the Malayan krait or blue krait, is one of the species of snakes found in Vietnam.

New Zealand troops in Vietnam operated in a tough environment. Along with the challenges of terrain and climate, they also had to contend with lethal insects and dangerous wild animals.

Snakes were especially disliked by the New Zealanders. Venomous kraits, pit vipers and cobras were common in the jungle, although very few men were bitten on operations. There were close encounters though. On one occasion a New Zealand soldier woke up to find a cobra coiled up asleep on his chest (it woke up and slithered off two hours later), while two men discovered snakes in their beds after arriving at Nui Dat.

While they learned to live them, the New Zealanders never lost their fear of snakes, and would go to some lengths to kill any they encountered. Read related memories by David Roberts and Bruce Young.

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Image courtesy M. A. Muin

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How to cite this page: 'Snakes in Vietnam', URL: http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/photo/malayan-krait, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 4-Sep-2013