Less living space
Rare is the person who can look at his or her tormentor straight in the eye and then walk away with peace in their heart.
But that was how Ronald “Ronron” Aventurado approached the King Cobra that bit him in the wrist after he tried to catch the reptile with his bare hands last week.
With some benevolent help from the late Capt. Jessup Bahinting, whose timely assistance helped deliver the anti-venom from Camiguin province that saved his life, Aventurado managed to fully recover from the attack. He revisited his assailant, all locked up in a pebble-filled aquarium.
Despite its frightening appearance—not a few people would find the creature repulsive and unsettling—it must be told that the King Cobra attacked Aventurado out of self defense.
It rose up to protect itself from what it perceived as aggression.
The King Cobra didn’t acquire a a name unlike “Lolong”, a reptilian cousin acknowledged as the biggest alligator/crocodile in the world.
When the idea of releasing the King Cobra in the wild was proposed by an Indian animal welfare expert, local officials led by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama objected. They said it was a lot safer for the King Cobra to remain in the zoo.
The mayor’s reaction was understandable and he did propose that a reptile sanctuary of sorts should be built first before any thoughts of transferring said King Cobra should be entertained.
It’s difficutlt to convince local officials and residents to release King Cobras or venomous snakes for that matter in the wild when there’s a real risk of them showing up unwanted in someone else’s path.
We never figured out where it came from.
Was it someone’s escaped pet? Or was it really a freakish accident to have the deadly cobra transported to the zoo’s entrance in a delivery truck carrying limestone used in a nearby project?
In a world that is ever shrinking, no thanks tobanization and population growth, snakes and other wild creatures that do pose harm to people are also running out of space to live in.
Their habitats are being destroyed or crowded out — where else will they show up but closer to settlements of people who are repelled by them?
Thus a compromise has to be struck somewhere.
These reptiles should be housed in areas where they can still thrive without harming anyone. Building reptilian sanctuaries would cost serious money and time to put up.
A wealthy businessman and friend of the mayor owns a wildlife sanctuary in the northern town of Carmen, Cebu. Perhaps Michel Lhuillier would consider hosting this celebrated viper in his private forest.
King Cobra may find a happy home there, away from pesky humans.
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