|Cobras Who's Who
NOTE: I am currently in the process of compiling the "Cobras Who's Who" listing that I hope will become a comprehensive listing individuals whose area of study or research further defines our knowledge of cobras. If you are interested in being included on this listing, please send, via e-mail or ground post, your name, title(s), specific area of study or research, list of published works, academic affiliations and any other information you feel appropriate. I intend to publish this listing, once complete, and possibly form an internet mailing list to further facilitate the exchange of information in the field.
Thousands of people are killed every year as a result of cobra venom. The majority of these occur in southeast Asia, where cobra populations are at their highest. Greater communication among researchers, medical professionals and pre-treatment medics could greatly decrease the number of deaths that occur due to ineffective antivenin being administered. It is my hope that this list can further facilitate the much needed research being done in this field. If you or someone you know is involved in any of the below disciplines, or has knowledge that may be useful to researchers, please contact me for inclusion on the list. Non-academics (such as myself) are encouraged to provide information as well.
COMMUNICATIONS: E-mail is the primary form of communication between the members of "Cobras Who's Who". Please keep in mind when writing to anyone on this list, especially scientists and academics, that their time is limited, and general questions regarding husbandry, care, feeding or other hobbyist issues should be addressed to those on the list with this knowledge. For general discussion, http://forums.kingsnake.com/forum.php?catid=86 or the newsgroups sci.bio.herp or rec.pets.herp may be more appropriate.
Webmaster: Cobra Information Site
Your host here has kept Ophiophagus hannah and Naja pallida. General knowledge of elapidae, especially genus Naja. Can provide detailed allegorical information re: behavior, feeding and captivity based on notes kept over an 8-yr. period. Was a Pararescue Tech. (medic) in the military, so have hands-on experience with wilderness & hostile environment envenomation treatment.
"I may not have all the answers, but I usually can find someone who does." :)
Author: Case Study (1996).
Most anyone that works with hots knows of Bill Haast. He is one of the most knowledgeable pioneers in the world, having worked with virtually every variety of venomous snake. At 87 years old, Mr. Haast has received over 165 bites, causing some loss of function in his hands, so he doesn't use a computer personally, but his wife Nancy checks the mail, and they try to respond to every message.
Mr. Haast's work with venom as a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis is world famous. While PROvern, the "cocktail" made with venom and other ingredients, is not available in the United States due to FDA regulations, it has been used by thousands with success, and continues to be available in Germany and other countries as a legal, commercial drug known as Horvi MS9. Here's a great article published by AP worldwide that recounts the fascinating life of Bill Haast.
[*NOTE: It will be helpful to Bill if you send e-mail in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS for ease of reading. -- jak]
Dr. Wolfgang Wüster
Academic Staff, School of Biological Sciences at the University of Wales Bangor
Author of numerous research papers mostly re population systematics.
"Systematics, the science of biological diversity, underpins all the other life
sciences, as it is only through an awareness of biological diversity and the evolutionary
history of organisms that we can interpret other biological phenomena."
Research Description: Venomous snakes are an important health hazard in the rural tropics. Venom variation between closely related species and even within species can prejudice the treatment of snakebite victims. We use mtDNA sequencing and morphological methods to identify medically important cryptic species, to understand the phylogeny of species groups of venomous snakes, and to relate the evolution and systematics of the snakes to venom variation.
* Asiatic cobras: Systematics and snakebite (1990) [with Roger S. Thorpe]
*Dentitional Phenomenoa in Cobras Revisited: Spitting and Fang Structure in the Asiatic Species of Naja (1992) [with Roger S. Thorpe]
*Naja siamensis, a cryptic species of venemous snake revealed by mtDNA sequencing. (1993) [with Roger S. Thorpe]
*Population systematics of the snake genus Naja in Indochina: Multivariate morphometrics and comparative mitochondrial DNA sequencing (cytochrome oxidase I). (1995) [with Roger S. Thorpe, M. J. Cox, P. Jinkatune & J. Nabhitabhata]
*Venemous snake systematics: Implications for snake bite treatment and toxinology. (1996) [with C. J. McCarthy]
*Taxonomic changes and toxinology: Systematic revisions of the asiatic cobras (Naja Naja species complex). (1996)
[One of the single most knowledgeable taxonomists/scientists the webmaster has the honor of knowing. Wolfgang is somewhat responsible for the complete revision of elapid taxonomy, as well as major contributions in venom research. He is the one I go to when I need a detailed, scientific answer. Thanks to Wolfgang for taking the time. -- jak]
Lives in the U.K. at present.
Has been keeping Naja for 16 years and breeding them on and off for around 10 years. Naja species I have worked with are as follows: N. atra, N. haje, N. h. schwarzei, N. h. annulifera, N. kaouthia, N. melanoleuca, N. naja, N. nigricollis, N. pallida, N. siamensis. & Hemachatus haemachatus. I have bred atra, pallida and siamensis, I have also kept and bred Walterinesia aegyptia. Other venomous species I have kept include Vipera raddie, Vipera wagneri, Vipera ammodytes, Cerastes cerastes, cerastes vipera, Bitis gabonica, Bitis arietans, Bitis rhinoceros, Atheris nitschei, Atheris squamiger, Causus resimus, Dendroaspis augusticeps, Trimeresurus albolabris, popeiorum & kanburiensis, psuedechis colletti, Bothrops schlegelli, Bothrops n. marchi, Crotalus atrox,adamanteus, durissus, lepidus, klauberi, cerastes, viridis, mitchelli, ruber, molossus. I have also had most of the copperheads and both the standard and ornate cantil and one odd cottonmouth.
"The reason I want to be listed is that I thought I may be able to help people who are starting out as my specialty is not getting bitten....that's right not a single bite in 16 years!"
Dr. Sean Bush, MD,
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Loma Linda University School of Medicine
Loma Linda, California
Telephone: (909) 558-4444
I am a Board Certified full-time Staff Emergency Physician at Loma Linda University
Medical Center, where I consult as "Envenomation Specialist" on all snakebites
admitted to the hospital. Since 1990, I have personally treated dozens of
rattlesnake & spider bites, scorpion stings, and an occasional marine envenomation.
I'm also informally consulted by several regional hospitals regarding various
envenomations, including exotic snakes, lizards, spiders, scorpions, and marine. I
have published several articles on envenomation in peer-reviewed journals such as Annals
of Emergency Medicine, The American Journal of Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Emergency
Reports and in an online Emergency Medicine Text (found at www.emedicine.com under Snake, Spider, and Scorpion
Envenomations). In addition, I lecture on envenomations at the national level.
I have had a lifelong interest in herpetology, herpetoculture, and conservation of
Exciting news: Sean is featured on a television show on Animal Planet called VENOM ER! [p.s. Shawn is also a really nice guy. - jak]
Dr. K. C. Lun
Associate Professor, National University Hospital
Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Informatics, Nat. Univ. of Singapore
NUH, Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 0511
Telephone: (+65) 774 9308
Fax: (+65) 779 1489
CuSeeMe reflector: 220.127.116.11
Creator of CYBERSPACE HOSPITAL - http://ch.nus.sg
[Very knowledgeable on a variety of topics, including taxonomy and venom. -- jak]
Far North Queensland Journal of Herpetology [excellent resource, check it out -- jak)]
Specializes in elapid behavioral interpretation.
This is a partial list of the cobra species Larry has or has had:
>> O. hannah
>> N. n. kauthia (albino and regular)
>> N. n. atra
>> N. pallida
>> N. p. mossambica
>> N. n. polycellata
>> N. n. oxiana
>> N. n. sputatrix
>> N. n. isanensis
>> N. nivea
>> N. nigricollis
>> N. n. naja
>> N. n. ssp. (Pak. Blacks, etc)
>> N. melanoleuca
>> N. haje annulifera
>> Aspidilaps l. lubricus
>> Boulengerina annulata
As well as a multitude of other venomous snakes; (ie. Taipans, Death, Adders,Kraits, Mambas,vipers, etc etc.) Larry's primary emphasis is on study and reproduction, having produced many venomous species at his lab in Florida.
WWW: Allen Hunter's Black Mamba Info Page
15 years experience with venomous herps, focusing on captive behavior and breeding, specializing in captive behavior of Dendroaspis (Mambas) and African Cobras. Former member of the executive board of the Ontario Herpetological Society and writer of "The Hot Seat" column for the OHS newsletter. Author of HOTS: 101 Series.
Motto: "If someone is thinking about going in to potentially dangerous waters, should we not teach them how to swim?"
[I'm proud to be able to call Allen an online friend. He's both knowledgeable and helpful. -- jak]
Thorsten d' Heureuse
"My name is Thorsten d' Heureuse I am German and did my degree in landscape planning & protection of environment at the University of Kassel/Germany. Now I am living in Bali / Indonesia and have an office in Denpasar with my two partners (Irish & Indonesian). We designed the BALI REPTILE PARK, which was mentioned by the Taronga Zoo and by the WWF (World Wildlife Found) as the most beautiful reptile park in the world (a great complement for us). For the planning of the park I got a good background from Germany, where I already kept snakes and monitors for years and I also did educational exhibitions (NOT SHOWS!! ). Here in Indonesia I got the big (climatic) opportunity to keep snakes in their original environment. I've got two King Cobra Babies (Rodney & Sid) which hatched about three weeks ago and a Burmese Python (Albino). Check out my homepage, with the links to Duncan's (the director of the reptile park & producer of antivenom (Micropechis ikaheka!) & exporter of reptiles including cobras) and a link to RIMBA REPTIL - THE BALI REPTILE PARK with photos."
Address: Edeforsgatan 52, 974 38, Lulea, Sweden
"A few years experience with cobras, and mainly interested in captive care and
breeding. Currently keeping N. siamensis, N. sputatrix, N.haje annulifera [N.annulifera
annulifera] and N. mossambica. I want to get in touch with other keepers and breeders of
cobras, preferably in Europe"
Paul D. Rowley
Alistar Reid Snake Venom Research Unit
WHO Collaborating Centre for the control of antivenoms
"Over twenty eight years experience keeping snakes and other reptiles.
Former senior reptile keeper (Chester Zoo 14 years). Have been working
with venomous species for 10 years. Responsible for the management of the
largest British collection of venomous snakes, 300 snakes of 40 plus species.
Involved with a number of breeding programs. Assistance can be given in
the field of snakebite and its treatment by members of our department. Always
willing to help people who are serious about getting involved in the keeping of
Presently we house the following sp. of Cobra -
N. naja (Sri-Lanka)
"I've worked with venomous species for 8 years. I currently work with a variety of animals including albinistic Naja kaouthia, Aspidelaps lubricus, several Atheris ssp., Bitis gabonica, and several Vipera species. I actively give seminars statewide in an attempt to educate the public on the importance of venomous species. I'd love to hear from anyone interested in learning more about these animals."
Wife's name : Hope
Address : PO Box BE 746, Belvedere, Harare, Zimbabwe
Occupation: Publisher of African Safari Magazine, Writer, Consultant to the safari industry
African snakes of all kinds
The treatment of diseased snakes, especially cobras
The possible greater intelligence of some cobras over snakes in general
The aggression or lack of in cobras, especially Naja haje
Special interest in Naja haje annulifera, the banded variety of the
Egyptian cobra, sometimes known as the Rhodesian cobra
Current contact with snakes:
Removes snakes from gardens in Harare and releases them into the wild.
Assists people who have sick snakes.
Have caught and kept:
Egyptian cobra Naja haje
Mozambique spitting cobra Naja mossambica
Forest cobra Naja melanoleuca
I've been keeping venomous snakes for about 4 years. I have kept Bitis gabonica, Atheris squamiger, Trimerusurus albolabris, T. trigonacephalus, Bothriechis schlegeli, Agkistrodon contortrix (3 different types), Boiga dendrophila, T. wagleri. I am mainly interested in the care and breeding of the arboreal vipers but I would be happy to help anyone with questions on any of these snakes.
"What I most remembered is the gold phase eyelash viper. What a spectacular creature! That has to be one of the most
awe inspiring snakes there is. Almost enough to make me stray from elapids.....naaaaaa (hehe)"
[While Brent may be a viper kinda guy, he knows his herps, and has a wealth of
information, so I guess we can forgive him. <g>
Address: 9 Birch Place, Stoneville, WA, 6081, Australia
Telephone: (08) 9295 3007
Author: SNAKES Harmful & Harmless
[Brian's a real expert on venomous snakes of all kinds, especially those native to Australia. Great knowledge of venom as well. -- jak]
[Steve is the list-owner of the Venom-L Mailing List, webmaster of Herpmed, and all around knowledgeable nice guy. I don't know where he finds the time, but Steve is always in the fray exchanging information and discussing issues. He has a great body of knowledge related to venom, toxicology, medicine and a variety of other topics. With his contacts, Steve's the one to ask if no one else knows who to ask! -- jak]
Address: PO BOX 599, DONCASTER, VICTORIA, 3108, AUSTRALIA
Telephone: +61 18 588 699
Facsimile: +61 3 9857 4664
Raymond has been actively involved in herpetology for over 30 years. He's published over 140 papers in journals worldwide and seven books, including the definitive works Australian Reptiles and Frogs and Endangered Animals of Australia. He is currently editor of Monitor - Journal of the Victorian Herpetological Society, widely recognized as Australia's most important herpetological publication. His main herpetological area of interest is Death Adders, Genus Acanthophis.
While Raymond's name is most notable to herpetologists as the author of the controversial books Smuggled & Smuggled2, he is also the author of many scholarly papers.
ARC-APD Research Fellow
Australian Venom Research Unit,
Department of Pharmacology,
School of Medicine,
University of Melbourne,
Telephone: 61 3 8344 7753
Facsimile: 61 3 9348 2048
Bryan's one of the foremost researchers of toxins and reptile venoms, especially with regard to Australia species. His site is full is great anecdotes, pictures, and tons of scientific data.
"When I used to live in Florida, I was a licensed venomous reptile
handler and breed a number of species of cobras successfully for several
years. Unfortunately, I moved to Chicago to go to graduate school and
had to give up my hobby because Illinois does not allow private
ownership of venomous animals. I have handled/owned most of the
different species but my favourites are the banded Egyptians (Naja haje
annulifera). They get fairly large (~8ft) and are usually semi-docile. I
don't believe in venomoiding snakes so all of my animals were hot.
Because of this, I have developed a great deal of respect for these
animals and agree with you that only experienced herpers should handle
Some of the cobra species that I have kept include: N. n.
polyocellata*, N. kaouthia, N. haje annulifera*, N. nivea, N.
melanoleuca, N. pallida*, N. sputatrix*, N. isanensis, N. n. naja, N.
mossambica, N. nigricollis, N. miolepis, and H. haemachatus (*=
successful breedings). I double-majored in ecology/marine
biology at Florida Institute of Technology (now Florida Tech) in
I live in Glencairn, Cape Town, South Africa. I have done extensive work on African Cobras and catch remove and release about 130 naja nivea from homes around me PER YEAR. I am busy writing a paper on cobra envenomation in domestic animals.
I have/have had:
N. nigricollis nigricincta
N. nigricollis woodi
N. annulifera annulifera
N. haja anchieta
as well as Arboreal Cobras ie: Pseudohaja
Joel T. La Rocque
From Janice, Joel's wife: "In the past 25 years I can't count the calls at late night and early mornings: "There is a SNAKE in my house!" On three occasions he has been bitten, the last on January 02, 2005, by an Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake. A young man brought it to our home, and as he was telling Joel what was in the box the bottom fell open and the snake landed on Joel's foot! He can't take Cro-Fab so it was pretty bad for 30 days. He lectures to schools and local groups. He takes in unwanted snakes and treats them until they can be released into the wild.
His main interest is venom research in regard to nerve pain, i.e.. Shingles, which he has been afflicted with on the left side for over three years. To have vials of different species venom around his room is the norm. I find it fascinating watching him milk these snakes. He is so gentle and actually apologizes to the snakes after he is through."