Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Abandoned Eggs of King cobra preserved

KalingaTimes Correspondent
Kendrapara (Orissa), Aug 22: The forest personnel have preserved 'abandoned' eggs of a rare king cobra in the wildlife museum after the reptile recently nested along the swampy patches of Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary.

For the first time, wildlife researchers had spotted the nest of a king cobra in the mangrove forest area.

The reptile had abandoned two eggs that were later collected and preserved in the local museum after being chemically treated.

"The king cobra eggs have found a pride of place in the museum. Reptile researchers are taking care for its prolonged preservation," said forest officials.

Though venomous king cobras abound in the mangrove forest region, never before cobras' nest had been sighted.

The forest protection staff while on duty had stumbled upon a 12-foot-long female king cobra in dense mangrove cover.

The reptile was on vigil protecting the nest from natural predators like estuarine crocodiles.

Later, after having received the good news, the forest staffs were asked to keep watch on the nest and ensure its safety.

Babies had emerged from the nest. The mother tended to the babies for about an hour. Later it swiftly disappeared into the forest taking the babies in tow, according to forest staffs who witnessed the rare

Initially, the mother was scared of human interference and had become restless. But later the reptile regained composure after it found that there was no threat to the nest from the forest staff.

Two of the eggs that did not hatch were left behind in the nest by the mother.

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