A newsletter on the Natural History, Ecology
and Conservation of the Agasthyamalai region, Western Ghats, India.

Any and all opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of ATREE. 

A S H O K A   T R U S T   F O R   R E S E A R C H   I N   E C O L O G Y   A N D   T H E   E N V I R O N M E N T

Ever wondered what a King Cobra sighting would do to the unfamiliar eye? Well, a busy schedule for the policemen guarding the bridge at Mundanthurai during the festival had an event like this to offer. This huge snake made them exclaim with awe because for the first  time they were watching one, as big as the King that we had chanced upon! The snake was seen struggling to swim across the swirling waters of the Servalaar and was being seen hardly twenty feet away from us. Its stocky head jutting out of the water’s surface, pulling with it the submerged body and the sunlight at noon managed to cast a striking sight.

The strong currents ensured that the sighting would last only for a minute, as the snake was drawn downstream. A superfast-sprint across the bridge carried me to the dormitory, where I was quite excitedly drawing my colleague’s attention to the presence of this unfamiliar snake. About fifteen minutes of combing at the riverside had left us with no traces of the snake, when it once again managed to send another bunch of people bathing in the river into a tizzy, as it swam past them! Frantic moments of searching between a few of us allowed Seshadri to spot the snake again. A few of us watched it resting on the root of a littoral tree for a few minutes, as the snake started drifting downstream again.

Later, barely a few hundred feet away from the riverside, the bunch of women and children who had retreated while bathing, jubilantly took to the pictures and videos of the snake from our cameras. And, the policemen’s joy knew no bounds, when they realized that they had indeed seen the King Cobra which they had all heard of and never seen before!

The strong currents in the Servalaar river at the
Mundanthurai bridge where the King Cobra was sighted
Photo: Rajkamal Goswami

The King stuns the police on duty

- Prashanth M B

Centre for Excellence in Conservation Science
Royal Enclave,Srirampura,Jakkur Post
Telephone: 080-23635555 (EPABX)
Fax : 080- 23530070

Volume 5,  Special Issue
      January 2011

Editorial Team

Editor: M. Soubadra Devy
Associate editor: Vivek Ramachandran
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, T.Ganesh
Design and presentation: Vivek Ramachandran