King Cobra

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Is the King Cobra right for you?

Species group:

Scientific name: Ophiophagus hannah

The basics:
It’s difficult for reptile fans not to be drawn to this largest of the world’s venomous snakes, which also seems to evince learning abilities not possessed by other species. But with highly-toxic venom in amounts that could, theoretically, kill a small elephant after a single bite, this snake obviously has no place in private collections – in fact, zoo staffs give much thought before acquiring one!

The huge range extends from Northern India to southeastern China and south through Southeast Asia and Indonesia to western Malaysia and the Philippines.

The King Cobra occupies a variety of habitats, including rainforest, dry forest, open scrubland, overgrown fields, mangrove swamps and agricultural areas.

Appearance / health:
Adults reach 3.6-4.5 meters (12-15 ft) in length but may exceed 5.4 meters (18 ft). Color and pattern varies greatly and may be uniform yellowish-olive, olive banded with yellow or dark brown/black banded with white or yellow.

Zoo specimens have reached age 22, but are considered prone to stress-related disorders due to their intense reactions to the disturbances involved in captive care.

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

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.

Wild King Cobras feed almost exclusively upon other snakes, although lizards are occasionally taken (the Greek-derived genus name means “snake-eater”). Mice and rats that have been “scented” with a snake are the standard zoo diet. Some individuals eventually accept rodents without the need for snake-scent stimulation.

Written by Frank Indiviglio


incredibly beautiful animals, amazing snake species


bad eaters, line apex predator, live food, venomous snake species, snake venom


venom labs, serpent digestion, fast.Typically live food, King Cobra Sanctuary

Helpful King Cobra Review

King Cobra

From DLlE Sep 17 2012 11:37AM


King Cobra Behavior Tip

King Cobra

From stmsnyder1 Nov 23 2015 4:13PM


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