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Hearing aids save world traveler from a king cobra

Hearing aids save world traveler from King Cobra

Published 18-07-2019
Last Updated 18-07-2019

Hearing aids won't make you cobra-proof, but they're definitely a step in the right direction.
Travelling through a dark, canopy rain forest, filled with unknown creatures, may not be your idea of a good time. But this is just one of the many adventures in the life of Colonel John Blashford-Snell, a British world explorer. He's conducted over 100 expeditions in countries such as Burma, Ethiopia, Bolivia, Peru, and more.

Prior to exploring, Blashford-Snell served in the British army for 37 years, where the number of explosions he was exposed to eventually led to his hearing loss. He speaks about the various ways his hearing aids and the ability to hear his surroundings have helped him avoid perilous situations when exploring.

Back in December 2014, Blashford-Snell was traveling through Assam, a region northeast of India, when he thought he heard a hissing sound. He turned around to find what he first thought appeared to be a black water snake.

"I realized it was moving,” Blashford-Snell says. “We kept very still whilst a huge snake slid towards us. It was a King Cobra. After 20 tense minutes, the snake suddenly turned away and shot off at high speed into the bush.”

According to the National Geographic, a King Cobra can grow up to 18 feet in length – making it the longest of all venomous snakes. It’s highly dangerous with venom powerful enough to kill 20 people or even an elephant. After excitingly filming and taking pictures of the venomous snake, Blashford-Snell decided to stay still and wait for the cobra to leave.

Now, at 83, he continues to explore in South America while relentlessly promoting scientific expeditions as president of the Scientific Exploration Society (SES), a UK-based charity.

Blashford-Snell founded the non-profit organization in 1969 with the goal to:

“...bring together like-minded explorers and scientists and to encourage pioneering exploration and worldwide scientific expeditions focusing on scientific, conservation, education and community aid projects, particularly in under-resourced environments.”

Your daily listening environment may not include cobras, elephants and other dangerous game. However, exploring hearing aid options are a wise choice - as the sounds they enable you to hear around you could end up saving your life.