King Cobra’s transfer to RITM gets okay
Preparations for the turnover of the King Cobra to a research institute starts today, the city veterinarian said.
“I will let Giovani (Romarate) get the permit for the transportation of the cobra today,” Dr. Alice Utlang of the Cebu City’s veterinarian told Cebu Daily News.
Romarate, the Cebu City zoo manager, will personally take the snake that bit a zoo keeper to Manila together with Asst. City veterinarian Dr. Piar Romero, Utlang added.
Utlang who is in Manila will make initial arrangements with the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) where the King Cobra will be donated as the city zoo does not have a serpentarium to keep the snake.
“I also instructed Giovani to check RITM’s serpentarium and cobra farm,” the city veterinarian said.
Romarate earlier expressed intentions to keep the snakes and called on donors for them to make a serpentarium facility inside the city zoo.
Before the actual turnover targetted on Sept. 10, Utlang will also be coordinating with local and national offices of the Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).
“I will be writing both PAWB national director Teresa Mondita S. Lim and Reynaldo Yray of PAWB 7 to inform them of the cobra turn over,” she said.
Dr. Fidel Malvas, chief of the RITM Veterinary Medicine Division, will personally receive the King Cobra, according to Utlang.
The King Cobra which strayed in the city zoo last August 14 bit zoo keeper Ronaldo Aventurado.
A wildlife expert from the Humane Society International named Soham Mukherjee checked on the King Cobra after it bit Aventurado. He said the animal may be useful in the research for cobra venom antidote.
Aventurado was saved from the King Cobra’s deadly venom after he was treated with Philippine Cobra anti-venom serum obtained from Camiguin island. /Jessa J. Agua, Correspondent
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