Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Baripada, Jun 20:
Forest department employees with the help of local Snake Helpline members today rescued a king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) measuring about 18 feet in length from near a house in Khandabuda village under Dukura Forest range of the Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.
The rare 18 feet-long serpent which was attempting to sneak into a house in the village was shooed away by the villagers. The reptile later hid in a bush.
On being informed Forest department officials called up the local snake helpline which sent a team to catch the vulnerable serpent.
“I work for Snake Helpline. In between 7-8 AM today I received a call from Dukura range office. Ranger sir told me that a snake had entered a house and I must go there to rescue it. I reached the village which is about 8 km from Dukura range and found that the snake was a king cobra which is now rarely seen and it was a big one. I caught the snake and have released it in the forest,” said snake charmer Krushna Chandra Gochhayat, who now works for Snake Helpline and was a member of the rescue team which rescued the snake.
Krushna said that he had caught thousands of snakes but has seen only five like the one he caught today.
There are earlier instances of king cobras measuring a maximum length of 15 feet being rescued from Similipal, he added.
Krushna said though these serpents reach an average length is 10 to 13 feet; king cobras can reach a length of 18 feet.
The snake was released by Forest department employees near Sijuapani nullah in the core area of the Similipal sanctuary.