Indonesian special forces soldiers showed off their survival skills on Wednesday by eating snakes and drinking their blood in front of U.S. Defence Secretary James Mattis.
Mattis was visiting the Indonesian armed forces headquarters in Jakarta on the last of his three-day visit to the country before departing for Vietnam.
As part of the demonstration, soldiers simulated hostage rescues, walked on flaming stacks of bricks and broke the bricks with their heads.
They then released sacks of snakes, including cobras, bit the serpents’ heads off and drank their blood.
Mattis appeared to enjoy the spectacle.
After talks with his Indonesian counterpart Ryamizard Ryacudu on Tuesday, Mattis said the U.S. was ready to work with Indonesia to ensure maritime security in the region as an increasingly assertive China stakes claims in the South China Sea.
“The maritime fulcrum of the Indo-Pacific area is critical and as we can help in maintaining the maritime domain awareness in the South China Sea … this is something that we look forward to do,” he said.