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Egyptian Cobra

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Is the Egyptian Cobra right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Naja haje

The basics:
The Egyptian Cobra features in the myths and legends of numerous cultures. Its deadly reputation and fantastic threat display draw venomous snake fans to it as well. However armed as it is with amazing speed and huge stores of highly toxic venom, it is responsible for numerous snakebite deaths annually, and should never be kept in private collections.

The huge range extends from Morocco and Egypt in North Africa south to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania. It also occurs in the southern Arabian Peninsula.

Highly adaptable, the Egyptian Cobra may be found in sparsely-vegetated scrubland, savannas, semi-deserts, farms, ruins, and village outskirts.

Appearance / health:
The background color is generally some shade of brown, often with a red, yellow, or gray tint. The Egyptian Cobra is slender in build and reaches 1-3 meters (3.3-9.8 ft) in length.

Zoo specimens have reached age 22, but are considered prone to stress-related disorders.

Behavior / temperament:
Egyptian Cobras are alert, active, and strike with amazing speed. Their agility renders handling with snake hooks especially difficult and dangerous.

Housing:
It is impossible for a private snake owner to adequately prepare for or treat a venomous snakebite, or, prior to a bite, to arrange for treatment in a hospital.

Diet:
Egyptian Cobras actively hunt for toads, lizards, snakes, birds and rodents. Zoo animals are fed rats and mice.

Written by Frank Indiviglio

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