×

We've got news for you.

Register on SowetanLIVE at no cost to receive newsletters, read exclusive articles & more.
Register now

Young Egyptian finds fortune in scorpions

Mohamed Hamdy Boshta shows scorpions that he hunted in Egyptian deserts and shores to extract their prized venom for medicinal use.
EGYPT-SCORPIONS Mohamed Hamdy Boshta shows scorpions that he hunted in Egyptian deserts and shores to extract their prized venom for medicinal use.
Image: MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY

Cairo - Several years ago, a young Egyptian man abandoned his degree in archaeology to hunt scorpions in the country's deserts and shores, extracting their venom for medicinal use.

At just 25 years old, Mohamed Hamdy Boshta is now the owner of the Cairo Venom Company - a project housing 80,000 scorpions in various farms across Egypt as well as a range of snakes, also kept for their venom.

Caught using a coloured UV light, the scorpions are exposed to a tiny electric current to stimulate the release of the venom, one gram of which can produce between 20,000 and 50,000 doses of antivenom.

A gram of scorpion venom can fetch $10,000 and Boshta exports it to Europe and the U.S. where it is used to make antivenom and a range of other medicines, including for conditions such as hypertension.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Register (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

Commenting is subject to our house rules.