Utlang calls for preservation of king cobras: ‘They do not attack unless provoked’

By: Kim Ablaña - CTU Intern - CDN Digital | February 03,2024 - 06:44 PM

A King cobra locally known as 'banakon.'

A King cobra locally known as ‘banakon.’ | File photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Unless threatened or cornered, the king cobra, just like any other snakes, would not attack humans.

This was according to Dr. Alice Utlang, Cebu City’s special assistant on veterinary, agriculture, and fishery concerns, who added that king cobras locally known as ‘banakon’ are ‘harmless’ animals.

“Kanang mga bitin specifically cobra, mahadlok sad na sila’g tawo, so molayas ra na sila. Mopaak lang na sila kung ma provoke or kung ma corner na sila. Wa may laing means of defense nila, paak man,” Utlang said in an episode of Pagtuki, Pagsusi, Pagsuta that was aired over Sugboanon Channel on Thursday, February 1.

Utlang is urging the public to refrain from killing king cobras because they play an important role in the ecosystem as they are “effective [in the] control against rats.”

READ: What venomous snake has high-risk exposure in Cebu?

Critically endangered

Utlang, who used to head Cebu City’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF), said that king cobras are also listed as among the “critically endangered” animal species.

She said that critically endangered species face the risk of extinction since only very few of them are left.

Recently, several sightings of king cobras were reported in the different parts of Cebu.

A farmer in Dalaguete town was also believed to have died after he was bitten by a king cobra.  However, the actual cause of his death is yet to be determine through the conduct of an autopsy.

READ: Why are there several sightings of king cobras in Cebu?


Utlang said that king cobras and other wild animals should not be considered as threats to humans because they also have important roles to play in ensuring a balanced and healthy ecosystem.

“Kanang cobra, pasagdi lang na sila nga mo co-exist nato. Ayaw patya kay naa man sad na sila’y gamit,” she adds.

The lady veterinarian said it was important to educate people on how they should react when they see a king cobra or other wild animals.

“Mao nang dapat atong e-edukar ang atong mga kaigsoonan. Kung makakita gani ta’g king cobra or other wild animals, ayaw hilabti. Pasagdi lang na sila nga mabuhi,” she said.

Furthermore, Utlang stressed on the need for government intervention as she urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to identify areas in the city that are inhabited by king cobras.

“Ang DENR unta maghatag og location or murag map ba, nga kaning dapita naa ni sighting sa cobra kay aron mag careful ang mga tawo,” she said.

She added that the DENR can also issue advisories or put up signages to identify these areas to discourage people from going there.


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TAGS: Dr. Alice Utlang, King Cobra

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