The 51-year-old was treated with anti-venom

A man is fighting for his life in hospital after being bitten by his pet India cobra.

Andrew Taylor, a 51-year-old from Chatham, Kent, has been in a coma for two weeks at the Medway Maritime Hospital.

He was treated with anti-venom for the bite, which paralyses the muscles and leads to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest.

Cobras are elapids, a type of poisonous snake with hollow fangs fixed to the top jaw at the front of the mouth.

The Indian Cobra, also known as the spectacled cobra or the Asian cobra, is one of the "big four" species that inflicts the most snakebites on humans. Cobras are large snakes and often grow to over six feet long.

Taylor's neighbour Jeanette Connell told KentOnline: "He lives on his own and I know that he has always had some funny pets. It's sad to hear that he is in hospital but we don't see him much as he tends to keep himself to himself."

Although Taylor owns 16 snakes, the Medway Council found out he does not have a license to own exotic pets and may face legal action.

The council said: "The owner did not hold a Dangerous Wild Animals licence for any of the snakes and this is an offence.

"We understand the owner remains in hospital and we will pursue appropriate action once he is discharged."