King cobra sightings in Cebu City: Residents call for snakebite treatment in barangays

By: Pia Piquero - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | February 22,2024 - 10:27 AM

king cobra Cebu  and Snake Cebu

A king cobra, locally knows as “banakon,” was spotted and killed in Sirao, Cebu City, on Wednesday, February 21. | via Barangay Sirao Bulletin

CEBU CITY, Philippines – Local residents have urged the Cebu City government to quickly set up ways to treat snakebites in every barangay, following the recent frequent sightings of king cobras, locally known as “banakon,” in the city.

Ian Gabisay, the chief tanud of Sitio Langud in Barangay Sirao, Cebu City, shared his worry after seeing two king cobras in their area, with the most recent sighting on Wednesday, February 21.

“Ang among hangyo sa gobyerno, pananglitan naay mapaakan simbako, naa dayun immediate medical treatment diri sa among barangay. Dili nami moanha og syudad kay layo na ang pagbyahe. Laktod mga pagka estorya, tagaan unta mi anti-venom,” Gabisay said.

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

King cobra nearby

On Wednesday around 8:30 a.m., Gabisay was at their motor shop with a technician when a neighbor told them about a snake nearby.

They went to find it and prodded it to come out. When it appeared and showed signs of being a king cobra by spreading its hood, they had to kill it with a piece of wood to protect themselves.

Following this unusual encounter, Gabisay and barangay officials advised residents to clear bushes and other hiding spots for feared reptiles in their homes to prevent similar incidents.

READ: EXPLAINER: What to do when coming face-to-face with snakes

King cobra sighted also in Toledo

“Nag-ingon nako sa akong mga silingan bahin sa mga libon ug mga suok nga atong gisaligan nga puy-an sa mga bitin, kinahanglan gyud nga atong limpyohan. Ug ang mga unas ilawom sa saging, gipangdabokan nasad namo,” he said.

Another king cobra was reportedly sighted and killed in Toledo City on February 20. However, CDN Digital is still awaiting a response from the resident who witnessed the snake.

Last February 19, two king cobras were captured along with a Boiga cynodon, commonly known as a dog-toothed cat snake. They were spotted and killed by residents in Sapangdaku, Cebu City.

Meanwhile, the The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) -7 gave the public instructions on how to handle snake encounters.

READ: City vet: ‘Do not kill king cobras if you’re not threatened’

Report snake sightings to authorities

If your life is not in danger, the agency has urged the public to report snake sightings to the authorities, emphasizing that they should first contact the nearest barangay.

Manlegro recommended not harming the snake to avoid getting hurt if it fights back. It’s important to call the barangay, especially if you’re unsure how to handle reptiles.

The DENR has been training wildlife enforcement officers through local government units to deal with wildlife. If sightings are far from the DENR-7 office in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City, it’s best to contact the barangay first for snake rescue.

The barangay officers will then hand over the snake to the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), which will pass it on to DENR-7.

For snake sightings in rural areas, the public should contact their local government unit for help. However, if the sightings are near DENR-7’s office, the public can call them directly at 328-3335. /with reports from Niña Oliverio


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TAGS: Cebu City, DENR-7, King Cobra, snake bite

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