Cobra Information Page 11
For those readers wondering, here's a little more info. on my two friends:
Cleo, the African spitting cobra, died after three years from an untreatable infection brought
about by complications from surgery received before she was in my care. I have since learned
that this sub-species is known as the Red Spitter (Naja pallida...thanks Graeme).
I knew nothing about cobras when I obtained this creature, so it was a trial-by fire learning
experience that I wouldn't recommend to anyone. This convinced me that only experienced herpers
should attempt to keep cobras.
After 5 years, Kachsa Khan and I parted company when he reached 12'4", and I was
no longer capable of handling him. I donated him to one of the world's largest, most
respected snake zoos, where he lives to this day. They got a kick out of the fact that he
would respond to his nickname, Monty, which I gave him as a joke so people wouldn't
pre-judge my "pet" before meeting him. They had to build a special viewing area for him, to
protect the public. From what I have heard, he has never attacked any of his handlers,
is relatively well mannered for a King Cobra, and remains one of their premier attractions.
Neither of my snakes ever bit anyone other than myself. That notwithstanding, I do not
advocate the keeping of venomous herps of any kind without the proper training and
facilities. The "Junglesphere" I refer to was a professionally designed terra-environment
that was guaranteed escape-proof, and was always kept locked. Kachsa was only
removed form from this safe-haven when I was positive of external security, and then
only for milking or examination. Anyone that thinks they own a cobra is a fool. You can
keep a cobra, but no one owns one. If you are thinking it would be "neat" to have a
cobra, think twice. They are one of the least tenable species of pets in the world...they
make a noise like a tornado, they are aggressive, temperamental, finicky eaters, fairly
expensive to maintain (just *try* taking your cobra to the local vet for a checkup...hehehe),
and most of all, very deadly if not venomoid. All things considered, get a constricting
snake, or a King Snake if you want action. Keep in mind that there are legal considerations
with venomous snakes as well. The turmoil caused by the escaped cobra in Stonham, Mass. is
a fine example of what can happen to careless handlers.