Friday, March 13, 2009

King Cobra

I could see moving to Chongzuo--the weather is nice enough, the food is delicious, and the wildlife can't be beat--if it weren't for the snakes.

The reserve's walking paths are lined with billboards warning visitors of king cobras and urging them to stick to the main paths. Like most people, though, I tend to take warning signs aimed at tourists with a grain of salt.

But just to be safe, I did some Googling the other day to find out just what these snakes are all about.

A children's educational website informs me that;
-The king cobra holds a record length of 5.58 m (18.3ft) for a venomous snake.
-It has a head as big as a man’s hand and can stand tall enough to look you straight in the eye.
-the king’s venom is actually less lethal than a common cobra’s. However, the king makes up for it by delivering more venom per bite...enough to kill an elephant or 20 people.

"Tigerhomes" notes;
-Nearly ALL snakes will avoid man…there are however snakes known to aggressively attack man such as the King Cobra of Southeast Asia…

Medicine On-Line weighs in with;
"The most common and earliest symptom following snake bite is fright, particularly of rapid and unpleasant death. Owing to fright, a victim attempts 'flight' which unfortunately results in enhanced systemic absorption of venom. These emotional manifestations develop extremely rapidly (almost instantaneous) and may produce psychological shock and even death."

And here, again from Medicine On-Line, is the kicker;

"On an average - cobras and sea snakes result in about 10% mortality [28]-ranging from 5-15 hours following bite."

I don't think I'll be straying from any paths again anytime soon...


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