Discussion:
THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
(too old to reply)
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
..............................................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
...........................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
..................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
..............................................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
...........................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
..................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
..............................................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
...........................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
..................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
..............................................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
...........................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
..................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
..............................................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
...........................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
..................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
..............................................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
...........................................................................
............................................................................
............................................................................
..................................
Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
##########################################################################
# Send submissions for Goanet to goanet at goanet.org #
# PLEASE remember to stay on-topic (related to Goa), and avoid top-posts #
# More details on Goanet at http://joingoanet.shorturl.com/ #
# Please keep your discussion/tone polite, to reflect respect to others #
##########################################################################
Rahul Alvares
2003-07-27 04:56:19 UTC
Permalink
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA

By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in

I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!

However, I am going to use this space for wildlife only. I have loads of
things I'd like to get off my chest (oops, sorry no bodybuilding), things
that will make me feel a lot better if I know that you know about them too
and that's what this column will be all about.

The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!

I am truly surprised to find this sudden emergence of king cobras in Goa. In
all the years gone by I had never heard of any kings in Goa . In fact I
wasn't even sure we had any.

What makes the king cobra a king? Is it its size - which could measure up to
18 feet? Is it its bite which has enough venom to kill an elephant? Or is it
the fact that it feeds solely on other snakes, venomous and non-venomous?

All this and more. But first let me tell you of my own experiences with the
King.

I first set eyes on the King four years ago when I was at the Madras
Crocodile Bank learning snake handling. The legendary snake man Romulus
Whitaker was making a movie on the king cobra for the National Geographic
channel at Croc Bank. The star cast included 16 king cobras brought by Rom
from all over India, Thailand and Malaysia. I wasn't allowed to handle them,
of course as I was still learning to handle common cobras at that time. But
I got to view them from very close quarters and man, I was entirely
captivated.

Over the years I have gained experience in handling all kinds of snakes but
never the king. So last year I made a trip to Thailand and Malaysia
especially to meet with the king which I finally did at the Queen Savobha
institute in Thailand.

In spite of my insistence that I was a good snake handler; I had a lot of
difficulty convincing the guys there to allow me to handle the king. Even
though the institute itself produces antivenin, the risk involved is so
great that much caution is exercised. Perchance if I was bitten I could be
dead in 15 minutes. One of the handlers stuck his hand in my face, the
index finger wanting. "Swallowed by a king cobra" he soberly warned.

But having come this far i couldn't take no for an answer. And so I bided my
time. Everyday I would go to the Institute and from the audience stand
intently watch the snake shows which were held twice a day. Sitting glued to
my seat I would watch every move of the king and the moves of his handlers,
my body tense with excitement as the handler poised his hand behind the
giant snake's raised hood, and with one swipe grasp it firmly at the neck.

Finally, on my last day in Thailand, moved perhaps by my persistence they
relented and gave me one opportunity in the snake enclosure to handle the
king. Under the watchful eyes of the instructors I finally got to achieve
what I had wanted.

And yes, I can certainly say with all confidence that the king cobra truly
deserves the title King. (Funny - the female is also called a king cobra).
If you look into its eyes you will know what i mean. The eyes show no fear,
only amusement, thoughtfulness and perhaps irritation at this foolish human
scampering around it. King cobras aren't really cobras - their hood is more
long than broad. This gives it a kind of preoccupied look, like that of a
person who knows how important he is, cameras flashing for every movement of
its sleek, shiny, graceful body.

King cobras can move with their hoods up, a feat which common cobras are
unable to perform, and they very often strike with their mouths angrily
open. This had me perplexed in the beginning, because "mouth open" means
that the snake is at its wits end and is ready to pump you with every drop
of venom it's got. Later I learnt that in case of king cobras "mouth open"
still means a fake attack: the king is merely threatening you with dire
consequences and hoping you will retreat.

Just like common cobras, king cobras come in various colors, shapes and
sizes. The ones in India are slender more feminine and lighter in color. All
along the body they have thin white stripes, with an upside down V marking
the hood.

The king cobras in Thailand however are thicker, more robust and masculine
than ours. They have very faint stripes if at all and are normally almost
jet black in colour. In fact they are so different that antivenin (yes, the
correct word is antivenin and not anti venom as commonly used) produced in
Thailand is almost useless against a bite from a king cobra in India. So
death is almost certain if one is bitten by the king in India.

Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.

Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.

King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
Bosco - Goanet Volunteer
2003-07-27 20:09:11 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 11:30:25 +0530, "Aloysius D'Souza
<aloysius at bom1.vsnl.net.in>" wrote:

Thanks Rahul,

This article on KING COBRAS is really informative -- but what about anti-venin
against the bite of Indian King Cobras -- Is is totally non-available in India?

I had read some of your invitations to trips toview wild life in Goa -- I hope
that Ishall be able to attend one such expedition.

Cheers

Aloysius D'Souza
J. Loiola Pereira
2003-07-27 22:15:18 UTC
Permalink
Rahul,

That was an excellent write-up on the King Cobra. I suppose you forgot to
say that, besides herps, gyms and HM, you love writing too!

I've been fascinated with cobras for many years, but never dared to catch
one in the wild. I have handled a number of them AFTER they had been
relieved of their fangs by others and I even 'uncoiled' one who had
tightened its grip around the arm of its screaming catcher, to the point of
making him lose his grip on its neck. Recently I found myself glued to the
TV set as I watched a National Geographic documentary on the king cobra.
Simply superb!

Er ... can you teach us the art of catching a snake (a cobra, in particular)
if this is not a professional secret?

Loiola.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Rahul Alvares" <cna at sancharnet.in>
To: "Frederick Noronha" <fred at bytesforall.org>
Sent: Sunday, July 27, 2003 10:26 AM
Subject: [Goanet]THE WILDLIFE NEWSLETTER: The Kings emerge in Goa
Post by Rahul Alvares
THE KINGS EMERGE IN GOA
By Rahul Alvares
cna at sancharnet.in
I am a snake catcher. Besides herps, I have two other passions: bodybuilding
and heavy metal!
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Post by Rahul Alvares
The hottest news in Goa on the reptile front concerns an 11 foot king cobra
caught in Mollem. About a year earlier a 14 foot king cobra was caught also
caught in Mollem. Both were found in peoples' houses!
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Post by Rahul Alvares
Hat's off therefore to RFO Prakash Salelkar for daring to trap the King in
Mollem without the security of an antidote at hand. He admits it was one the
scariest moments of his life. It would have been mine too.
Now that we have seen two kings I am pretty sure more of them are going to
turn up in the most unexpected places. The more forest lands we open up for
development works, the scarcer becomes the deep dark recesses of forest
where the kings normally prefer to inhabit. Disoriented and rendered
homeless by our activities, the kings wander around uncertainly, turning up
instead in peoples' houses.
King cobras, like the tiger, are at the top of the food chain. Their
presence indicates a healthy, balanced forest. We lose them, we lose a lot.
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