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Daijiworld News Network - Goa (MB)

Report and pics by Rajtilak Naik in Panaji

Panaji, Jul 30: It is as dangerous as the common cobra; it is as venomous as the King Cobra but there is a major difference in this kind of rarely found black cobras.

It is rare because unlike other commonly found cobras this creature doesn't possess any false eye-spots on the back of its hood. Whereas in the case of other commonly found King Cobras this mark can be prominently spotted.

This rare creature was rescued by Sunil Korajkar (president of Goa Green Cross Society) on the outskirts of Assanora village (around 20 kms north from panaji). The cobra was later released in its habitat in one of the deepest jungles in goa. This is said to be the first-ever case of a black cobra (with no false eye-spots on its back) being found in Goa.

Back view of the hood devoid of any eyespots

About Cobra:

It is the common name for certain members of a family of venomous snakes, known for their intimidating behaviour and deadly bite. Cobras are recognized by the hoods that they flare when angry or disturbed; the hoods are created by the elongate ribs that extend the loose skin of the neck behind the cobras' heads.

These reptiles are found throughout the Philippines, southern Asia, and Africa. The King Cobra can slither on land, climb on trees, and swim on water; it often lives near water. They have a life span of about 20 years. Cobras have been found up to 18 feet ( 5.5 m) long, but average about 13 ft (4 m) long.

The deadly-looking scaly texture of the skin

Its hollow fangs are up to 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) long. Poison is forced through the fangs when the cobra bites. The scaly skin glistens but is dry to the touch. The Cobra smells using its forked tongue. Although it is deaf to sounds, it can feel vibrations (like footsteps).

Idols of cobra being sold in Goan bazars on the occasion of Nag Panchami

Reproduction: Female King Cobras build a leafy nest early in spring; they lay up to 20 to 50 white, leathery eggs, which have an incubation period of 60 to 70 days. Nesting females are very dangerous.

Hunting and Diet: The Cobra is a carnivore (meat-eater). King Cobras are venomous; one bite can paralyze and kill their prey within minutes. The victim dies from suffocation, as the lungs and heart stop.


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