The king cobra, famous for its potent venom, has the ability to stand up and make direct eye contact with an adult. When faced with a threat, he can raise a significant portion of his body above the ground and keep moving forward to launch an attack.
Fortunately, king cobras are shy and will avoid humans whenever possible. It will also flare out its iconic hood and emit a hissing noise that sounds almost like a dog’s growl.
The average size of a king cobra is around 3.5–4.8 m (12–16 ft) with a gracefully long, slender, smooth-skinned body. There have been several reports indicating that this snake can reach a length of 5.5 m (18 ft), making it the longest ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs snake in the world.
Despite the large size and elongated hood, King Cobras are born ᴘʀᴇᴅᴀᴛᴏʀs that are fast, agile, and highly venomous. The average King Cobra life expectancy is around 16 to 18 years. However, in ᴄᴀᴘᴛɪᴠɪᴛʏ, it can live up to 20 years.
The king cobra is native to India and can be found throughout Southeast Asia, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, the Philippine Islands, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Known for being an easy climber and swimmer, the King Cobra inhabits forests found near streams and ponds. The reason behind this is that the species prefers a tropical climate where food is plentiful. A rich and flourishing forest that is home to a large number of small rodents and reptiles makes up a large part of the king cobra’s diet. It is found mainly in small snakes, both ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍᴏᴜs and non-venomous, birds and rodents.
King cobra ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ is highly toxic and the snake can deliver a considerable amount in a single ʙɪᴛᴇ, more than 200 to 500 mg of venom. ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ affects the central nervous system, causing blurred vision, vertigo, drowsiness, and ᴘᴀʀᴀʟʏsɪs. Then ᴄᴀᴜsᴇs the ᴄᴏʟʟᴀᴘsᴇ of the ᴄᴀʀᴅɪᴏᴠᴀsᴄᴜʟᴀʀ system and finally ʀᴇsᴘɪʀᴀᴛᴏʀʏ ꜰᴀɪʟᴜ ʀᴇ. Prompt medical treatment is essential to improve a king cobra’s sɴᴀᴋᴇʙɪᴛᴇ sᴜʀᴠɪᴠᴀʟ. It is said that ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ can reach a person ʙɪᴛᴛᴇɴ by a king cobra in 30 minutes, depending on the amount of ᴠᴇɴᴏᴍ administered during the envenomation.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the king cobra as ᴠᴜʟɴᴇʀᴀʙʟᴇ to ᴇxᴛɪɴᴄᴛɪᴏɴ. These snakes face a variety of ᴛʜʀᴇᴀᴛs stemming from human activities. Heavy deforestation in Southeast Asia has destroyed the habitats of many king cobras, while they are also collected in large numbers for skin, food, and medicinal purposes. They are also collected for the international pet trade. King cobras are also ᴘᴇʀsᴇᴄᴜᴛᴇᴅ by humans who ꜰᴇᴀʀ their threatening reputation.