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Wednesday, August 04, 2021

King Cobra sighted at Tillari conservation reserve in Maharashtra

A video shot by Shubham Dharne, a nature and wildlife enthusiast, shows a King Cobra feasting on a monitor lizard.

Written by Sanjana Bhalerao | Mumbai |
Updated: July 5, 2021 7:35:56 pm
King Cobras average 3 to 4 m in length and weigh around 6 kg.

The world’s longest venomous snake King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) was spotted at Tillari, the recently declared conservation reserve in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district. A video shot by Shubham Dharne, a nature and wildlife enthusiast, shows a King Cobra feasting on a monitor lizard.

“The sightings of King Cobra in the northern side of Western Ghats have been documented previously. But this video is an interesting shot that shows King Cobra feasting on a monitor lizard. It is their natural habitat. King Cobra sightings were recorded in Dodamarg, Sawantwadi areas and even in Ratnagiri,” said Ben Clement, chief conservator of forests, Kolhapur territorial.

King Cobras average 3 to 4 m in length and weigh around 6 kg. They are cold-blooded, meaning they depend on external heat sources for thermoregulation and generally prefer warmer climates.

Forests in the Western Ghats, which receive high annual rainfall, are the home of the King Cobra, a powerful and ancient religious icon in India. It is listed as vulnerable due to loss of habitat and over-exploitation for medicinal purposes, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

King Cobras can reach up to 5 metres in length and feed on other snakes (both venomous and nonvenomous), lizards, eggs, and small mammals. They are the only snakes in the world who build nests for their eggs and guard them ferociously. A King Cobra can live up to 20 years in the wild.

These longest venomous snakes are found in a variety of habitats, including forests, bamboo bushes, mangroves, high-altitude grasslands. They often stay near streams.

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