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King Cobra spotted in Busay, Cebu City

Although King Cobras are docile and non-aggressive, extreme caution is necessary when faced with one

By: Rick C. Gabuya - Managing Editor | January 11,2024 - 03:38 PM

King Cobra

COBRA IN THE CITY. Carmela Ariza took a quick snap of this fleeing King Cobra which she and her friends encountered when they went trekking in Barangay Busay, Cebu City. | photo by Carmela Ariza

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A group of friends trekking in Barangay Busay, Cebu City got the shock of their lives when they saw up close a King Cobra, a highly venomous snake, blocking their path.

In a post on Philippine Snake ID, a website that identifies and classifies snakes, one Eimanna Gutierez shared the experience of her friend named Carmela Ariza when the latter and her friends went trekking in Barangay Busay in Cebu City on Sunday, January 7, 2024.

READ: Cobra bites: Where to get antivenom treatment when bitten by a venomous snake in Cebu

King Cobra a meter away

Ariza recalled that when they reached a slope, and treading a grassy footpath, they saw the King Cobra just a meter away from her.

“Na rattle ko – modagan unta ko backward, pero naa didto akong duha ka kauban nagsunod ra gyud nako sa akong luyo, so mao ra ko og na trap kay good for one person ra ang foot path,” Ariza said.

READ: King cobra also alarms Badian town residents

King Cobra, man rattled

(I was rattled – I would have walked backward (away from the snake) but I have two companions following me, so it seemed like I was trapped because the foot path was only good for one person.)

Good thing the King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) was also rattled by the unexpected encounter, Ariza recounted, and slithered away from them.

READ: King Cobra captured in Tabogon, Cebu

Snake experts

Snake experts said the recent sightings of King Cobras were due to their mating needs. Snakes mate usually from January to April. They also said that Kings would seek cooler places and that’s why sometimes they would end up inside homes.

In Cebu, sightings of the King Cobra – considered the biggest venomous snake in the world – have been recorded in the towns of San Fernando, Badian, and Tabogon.

READ: Netizens on cobra spotted in San Fernando, Cebu: ‘Kahadlok!’

King Cobra sighting first in Cebu

However, Sunday’s sighting is the first one reported in Cebu City.

King Cobras, known locally as “Banakon” are docile or non-aggressive snakes and would most likely evade any encounter with humans, that’s why experts advised those who would come in close contact with them, to just let the snake leave.

READ: Cobras in the Philippines: What you should know about them

Diet of King Cobra

The diet of the King Cobra usually include rodents and other snakes including venomous ones hence their name although they don’t actually belong to the cobra family.

Though their venom is not as potent as that of the inland taipan, black mamba or the Philippine Cobra, the amount of venom that they can inject in a single bite is what makes them highly venomous.

READ:  Alarm raised as dozens of king cobras killed

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TAGS: Busay, Cebu City, King Cobra, venomous

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