Deadly 12-Foot King Cobra Gets Too Close to People—So They Take Action

Authorities in India have captured a huge king cobra after it was seen in a village in the eastern state of Assam.

Forest Department authorities, in collaboration with the Wildlife Trust of India-International Fund for Animal Welfare team, were part of a rescue operation prompted by a sighting from earlier in the week. The WTI’s Mobile Veterinary Service unit in Eastern Assam reported seeing the snake, and the team swiftly mobilized.

At the location, the team’s members were greeted with a 12-foot snake, just a few feet shy of the largest king cobra ever recorded, which measured 18.8 feet and was captured in Malaysia in 1937.

Amazingly, this is the second king cobra retrieval within a week in the region. The team, which has an impressive track record, has been dealing with snake rescue operations in the country’s northeast since 2002.

King Cobra
This 12-foot king cobra was captured in village in northeastern India and later released in a safe location.

Wildlife Trust of India

The 12-foot snake weighed over 15 pounds and was recovered from a house in the village of Torajan, after residents were taken a safe distance away.

The king cobra is the world’s longest and most venomous snake. A single bite from the reptile contains enough neurotoxin and cardiotoxin to kill 20 people. Fortunately, they usually steer clear of humans.

They primarily feed on other snake species, and their reasons for entering residential areas could vary from lack of prey availability to local habitat destruction that could force them to move.

“Humans and snakes have historically shared living spaces, but it has not always been a peaceful coexistence. False beliefs and misconceptions about snakes have caused problems for both species,” said Bhaskar Choudhury, head veterinarian at the WTI. “Accidental snake bites occur when individuals stumble upon snakes in their homes or gardens and inadvertently step on them or when they are cornered and feel threatened with no means of escape.”

The snake was brought to the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, which is in the village of Borjuri, for observation. It was later microchipped for identification purposes before being released in a location away from the village.

Last week the same team captured a 10-foot king cobra hiding inside a family home in the village of Panjuri and relocated it to a safe space.

In Russia’s Samara region earlier this week a man who keeps exotic snakes died within minutes after he was bitten by his king cobra. His girlfriend, who was with him at the time, told police that he was feeding the snake when it suddenly attacked him, causing him to die in her arms just minutes later.