A leucistic monocled cobra which recently caused havoc while it was on the loose in an American community will soon be on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.
Keepers undertook an extensive veterinary checks today to see if the animal was healthy and ready to make her public debut.
Normally making their home in Southeast Asia this cobra was found last month loose in the neighbourhood of Thousand Oaks. Animal control took four days to find the cobra which is believed to be someone’s pet that got loose.
Once it was caught it was sent to the Los Angeles Zoo. As monocled cobras have an incredibly toxic bite that can kill humans very quickly without anti-venom which Los Angeles Zoo did not have they could not keep it. It was offered to San Diego Zoo as they are one of only two zoos with this anti venom in America.
Keepers took the cobra from its holding area to the vet hospital in a secure container. Once they arrived there keepers placed its head into a tube which meant it was immobilised. Veterinarians could then safely anesthetise the snake and begin their assessment.
Vets worked to draw blood, take x-rays, check the fangs, venom glands and heart. They also took time to determine the gender of the cobra.
Measuring in at 4 feet keepers estimate this cobra was about 2 years old. It is a female who is in good health. If the blood work doesn’t show up an unseen issue the reptile house at the San Diego Zoo will soon have a new resident.
Being leucistic does not affect the snake at all. It is a genetic trait which causes reduced pigmentation. It is different to albinism which means they have no pigment.
Cobras are known for their impressive hoods.
Photo Credits: San Diego Zoo