Work and World

5 Slithery Stories About Cobras

Here are some of our favorite stories about cobras. (hissing) First up it seems to be an amazing moment. A woman enjoying some sun nearly falls prey to a king cobra. But then… (dramatic music) What reflexes. One newspaper called it quote, “Bare-Handed Bravery.” another reported, “She Captures Snake in Mid-Air.” The heart-stopping moment happened in South Africa. But there’s a catch. It’s not real. Check out the shadow of someone who appears to be reeling in a fishing rod. The so-called cobra seemed to be attached to the fishing line. Reptile expert, Tom Hudak, had some thoughts about the video. Cobras would never move in a straight line. They have to move in kind of an S-shape. And they’re incapable of those kind of speeds. The thing that jumped out at me perhaps the most of anything in the video was the coloration. There was a mix of black and white throughout the body, and throughout the underbelly. And I don’t know of any cobras that look anything close to that. You can also see that after the woman tosses the snake it lands with a thud and doesn’t move. Like they say, if it looks too good to be true it probably is. (jazzy music) But this king cobra at the Denver Zoo is real, and really fortunate. The cobra is in remission after being treated for cancer. It took nine x-rays to evaluate the serpent. The 13 foot, 19 year old snake received chemotherapy to treat the disease. The medication was administered via the cobra’s food, rats. (booming music) (hissing) After five months the cancer didn’t return. And its scales returned to a healthy color. Vets didn’t have a lot of precedent for treating such a disease in such an animal. And the successful therapy is paving the way for the next time one of these regal snakes falls ill. This cobra wasn’t sick, but it wasn’t lucky either. It got its head stuck in a beer can. You can hear the snake’s agitated breathing. (inhaling and exhaling) Two rescuers cut away part of the can with a knife. They had to pin down the unfortunate creature so that it could help free itself. Once it was out it lunged at its heroes. You can see that distinctive cobra hood. The rescuers picked up the snake with a prod and delivered it to safety. Indian cobras are sometimes known as spectacled or Asian cobras. They grow to about five feet in length. And their bites can be deadly. Indian cobras are found throughout the Asia continent and are sometimes associated with snake charmers. Due to declining habitat they are considered a vulnerable species. Something this specimen may understand all too well. And another cobra found itself in a similar situation after it tried to slither into a Budweiser can. Rescuers reported that the snake had been stuck in the can for several days. Once they apprehended the cobra they brought it to a treatment center. Where they cut into the can. It took two hours for vets to close the cobra’s wounds. They expected the snake would be fine in about a month. This massive king cobra wasn’t stuck, but it wasn’t in the right place either. The several foot-long snake was spotted in a tourist area in Thailand. So rescuers had to go get it. This brave soul from a local animal foundation pursued the venomous reptile into a dark sewer. He caught the cobra by the tail. And after a struggle, extracted it from the pipe. King cobras are the world’s longest venomous snakes. Their bites affect the central nervous system and can be deadly. This particular snake’s head was the size of a human fist. And it weighed more than 30 pounds. After posing for some beauty shots it was reportedly brought to a nature preserve. This is (upbeat music)
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