Thailand World Record King Cobra

4 Meter King Cobra in Thailand Caught by Thai Guy(Last updated: 29 December 2016)

I was watching this video I took (below) of a local guy with a 4 meter long King Cobra he caught in someone’s house. For about the fifteenth time I compared the tail of that one with the tail of one that crossed the road behind me and went into the bushes before I could react (or breathe).

The one I saw had a tail that was easily twice as thick as this cobra’s tail. Of that I’m absolutely sure. Now, could the snake have been sick and had an abnormally thick tail that didn’t mesh with how long it was? I don’t know. Maybe. I think not, but maybe – a slight chance.

The other possibility is that the King cobra I saw was a fekking GIANT cobra in excess of the world record which is 5.85 meters (over 19 feet).

Here is my Info Fact Sheet for the King Cobra at my snake site >

How much in excess? This thing must have been 30 feet. I know that sounds ridiculous. It’s absurd for me to say it. I only know what I saw. What I saw was the last 2 meters of the snake when I turned around. My heart stopped. I’ve seen 5 meter kings before, and many 4 meter kings. This king dwarfed them.

I know you’re probably thinking it’s a case of mistaken identity, but the only other snake in Thailand that gets that big are the pythons. This looked nothing like the Burmese or Reticulated pythons. Nothing like them. It was exactly like the king’s tail. I’ve no doubt of identity.

The reason I was on that mountain was to look for snakes. King cobras especially, but I didn’t really expect to see one crossing the road. I was stopped, debating whether to walk through the rubber plantation, but the vegetation was quite high on the path and I don’t like to walk there since I’m usually in my shorts and sports sandals. I prefer the open area a bit.

I turned around to look up the road for snakes because I had been facing one direction for a while. As I did my heart jumped into my throat and I couldn’t breathe. There, behind me, was this mutant king cobra that had just crossed the road and slipped into the thick bushes and I just got to watch the tail disappear over about 3 seconds of time.

I went over to the bushes and peered in – looking for movement – but saw none. I sure as hell wasn’t going on the rubber tree plantation path anymore but I did pry the bushes for an open spot to see the snake. I didn’t see it. It took a few minutes for my breathing to get back to normal – which is odd for me. It was quite a surprise though, and when I realized it dwarfed the biggest 5m kings I’ve ever seen – it was tough to confront the reality. I probably just saw the biggest king cobra in existence.

Now, how in the world could a king cobra grow so damn big?

Kings grow largest in Malaysia – so the history has shown. Malaysia is right next to Southern Thailand.

Range of King Cobra habitation worldwide
King Cobras are found in the red areas.

The city guys that catch the cobras – like the guy below – drop them all off here at this mountain. They catch 20-50 snakes per week, many of them giant kings or pythons.

King cobras exist on a diet of almost exclusively – other snakes. Even other kings. They eat pythons, kings, rat snakes, red-tailed racers, all kinds of snakes the snake guys catch and let go on this mountain.

This giant king became a giant from eating the abundant snakes all over this mountain.

If any herpetologists want to come and look for this snake – I will show you where – and I’ll also go with you because I wouldn’t miss the chance of seeing someone catch it.

Calling all herpetologists interested in searching for a world record snake…


Here is the ThaiPulse Thailand Snake FAQ ->

Here is my Thailand Snakes Site (adding to it constantly) ->

Video of 4 meter king I shot with my cell phone:

Here are two more videos of big King Cobras in Thailand:

Big King with Open Gate ->

King Eats Red-tailed Racer ->

56 Deadly Cobras in Thailand House

Most visitors to Thailand will return to where they came from without having seen a snake of any kind. Though there are over 200 species of snake in Thailand, they are not so frequent that you’ll be tripping over them when you arrive. There are snakes all over, in the cities, in the country, but much more so in the countryside areas.

My friend Darren, lives in an area that borders what looks like a national park. He has seen a lot of different Thailand wildlife since moving in, and yet he has never had anything like this before. He called me up to come and get a couple cobras he had in the restroom. When I arrived, it was a free-for-all. Baby cobras were all over the place.

I picked up as many as we could find, and took them to a remote location to let go.

What to do if you find a snake in Thailand?

If you want to identify it before you either kill it or call someone, go to:

ThailandSnakes.com

You can send photos to the email address found there, or fill out the info form and submit it if you have no photos. Be sure to be as descriptive as you can, it is quite difficult to ID a snake without a photo.

If you just want the snake removed from your home, contact your local police or ambulance crew – you know those guys that ride around in pickup trucks and pick up bodies off the street after a crash. The body snatchers. Call them and they will either come themselves to pick up the snake, or they will contact the local snake guy(s) for your area.

 

New Thailand Green Pit Viper Snake – Trimeresurus (Popeia) phuketensis

A new viper species was described in the Russian Journal of Herpetology recently – end of December. It is a green pit viper established in Phuket, hence the name. This new viper has venom similar in strength to the other green Thailand vipers, but the size is rather large – comparable to Pope’s Pit Vipers. The coloring is very much like the Trimeresurus venustus, but with more organization to the brown scales – into a pattern similar to the Mangrove Pit Vipers.

More information and photo of this new Thailand snake here ->

A Near Fatal Mistake – Thailand VLOG 4

Though I didn’t realize the gravity of the situation at the time – this was very nearly the death of me.

I was playing with a small Reticulated python – about a half meter long when I did something extraordinarily stupid – due to not considering what I was doing. The fact that I didn’t die – surprises me because well, I don’t want to spoil the surprise of what I did.

Without spoiling it – I can say – that the thing that would have killed me – often does take the required step when something gets too close.

I think I spoiled it.

Anyway – check out the video.

This Snake Resembles the Deadly Kraits – But, is Harmless

 

Malayan Bridle Snake - a Thailand snake which is not dangerous but can be easily confused with the deadly Thailand kraits.

I just finished a write-up about a snake that looks very similar to the deadly Malayan, Banded, and Many-banded kraits – but, which is harmless to humans.

Malayan Bridle Snake <- click for fact sheet

I’m calling it a Malayan Bridle Snake, not absolutely positive though. There are 3 snakes that are similar in appearance.

  • Malayan Bridle Snake
  • Common Bridle Snake
  • Laotian Wolf Snake

It could be any of these snakes – all of which are harmless.

One difference between the kraits which can kill you – and the three harmless snakes listed above… only the kraits get over a meter in length. Another difference is that only the kraits can get 3 fingers or more in body thickness. Remember, there are juvenile kraits that can look very similar to the snake you see here – and the other two listed above.

Be careful with any snake you find in Thailand. Most people are bitten by snakes as they try to kill them – not trying to avoid them altogether.

 

 

A Fast King Cobra Attacking (Video)

I love snakes. I’ve loved snakes since I was a little kid at 9 years old catching them in my grandmother’s back yard. She had garter snakes and once I saw a ribbon snake that was too fast to grab.

Here in Thailand there are over 200 snake species and many of them are venomous. If you don’t know the snake – please don’t pick it up and send me a photo at ThailandSnakes.com to ask me what kind of snake it is. Many of the snakes in Thailand can kill you – and fast – with or without treatment.

Anyway, I started ThailandSnakes.com as an outlet for my snake photos and videos, but also to provide information about snakes to help people understand them better. If you’ve seen a snake you have a photo of – send me a photo (high resolution is best) and I’ll try to identify it (info[{at}]thailandsnakes.com – remove brackets).

Here is a video I shot today of a VERY fast king cobra. The smaller the king cobra – the faster they are generally. This one was already 2 meters plus, but was wicked fast.

Dangerous Snake – Or Not?

If you see this snake - should you run away screaming?

This snake isn’t seen that often in Thailand, but they are common enough. I’ve seen three in the wild and this one that friends already caught.

This is a paradise tree snake – Chrysopelea paradisi, a flying snake. They can glide very far when they jump from high trees. Very far as in tens of meters horizontally. There are other flying snakes that are similar – and you’ve probably seen them – they are much more common…

Here is one ->

Flying snakes are not very dangerous. I’ve been bitten by them many times, and never had anything come of it. That isn’t to say you should let one bite down on you for many seconds though. They do have venom, they have rear fangs which inject venom into small pray like their favorites – geckos and frogs. The venom works well on those smaller creatures, but you’ll probably not notice anything if one bites you.

If you have any snake ID questions, go to ThailandSnakes.com and choose the link in the upper right about ID’ing snakes. Fill out the information and send me a photo to: info@thailandsnakes.com. I’ll see if I can figure out what it is.

Here are some common Thailand snakes you might have seen before.

 

A New Thailand Snake to Identify

Found this snake yesterday and can’t figure out what it might be. There are 200+ different types of snake in Thailand. I’ve seen a lot of them, but not this one. I’ve also seen another one – or possibly this exact same snake about a week ago on the same mountain, but couldn’t see his head so I didn’t grab him.

Want to help figure it out? (Click images to enlarge)

The color is green all over the top - with a tail that has some dark red- very dark, more brown-red.

Click here to see the snake belly[/caption]

If You Have This Snake As a Pet – Don’t (Videos)

I posted this on ThailandSnakes.com a couple of times, and wanted to make sure everyone knows – but, this snake is not one that is OK to keep as a pet anymore. It never was, but, recently there have been more bites that have caused serious issues.

Thailand’s keelback snakes are rear-fanged and venomous – though many sites might list them as non-venomous. Why is that? They weren’t considered dangerous to humans before this.

A couple months back a concerned father emailed me with an emergency. His son in Phuket had been bitten by his pet snake, and it happened to be the Rhabdophis subminiatus – Red-Necked Keelback that you see here.

They are gorgeous snakes. Unfortunately, they have a venom that specifically attacks the kidneys. The boy that was bitten was 12 years old, and was fighting for his life as the venom tried to destroy his kidneys. He remained in Bangkok hospital in Phuket for 14 days before being released – apparently OK. I didn’t hear much from the father – despite repeatedly asking if the snake bit down on the child for a long time – or, what exactly happened.

These snakes are capable of pretty severe damage – and the general consensus is that they need to bite down and chew the venom into the bite-site for either a length of time, or, repeatedly over a short time – to envenomate enough to cause any real problems.

Great care should be taken with these, and other keelback snakes – as their venom is likely more dangerous to humans than we have previously believed.

Another red-necked keelback video:

And another Rhabdophis subminiatus:

My Friend Bitten for 4th Time by Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia) Snake

Working with monocled and king cobras for a living must be a little stressful.

My friend Dtom, a Thai guy working a Cobra show was bitten 5 days ago for the 4th time in his illustrious career. He was kneeling on the show floor, with a Naja kaouthia (monocled cobra) on the left, right, and in the center in front of him. He kept the ones on the side occupied and focused on keeping the middle one focused on his knees which moved occasionally.

He reached up over top of the head of the center snake, to kiss it on the top of the head, when it suddenly struck at his groin. The guys wear loose fitting pants, and this happens sometimes. It has happened to the owner of the show – he told me a couple of weeks back. Their legs are spread and it leaves a big gap of pant fabric exposed to the snake, but their flesh isn’t right underneath it – and so, they aren’t often bit during this part of the show.

This snake bit that fabric close to Dtom’s right leg. As Dtom reached around to grab the snake from behind to get it off him – in a split second the snake slid down a bit and found his thigh under the pants and bit down.

The show was stopped and Dtom went to the hospital. Some of the guys at the show refuse to go to the hospital because they themselves or people they know have not had good experiences there. In fact, one of the snake guys had a little brother that died after a king cobra bite during a show there a couple of years ago. The boy died in the car on the way to the hospital – but the hospital staff couldn’t revive him and so some of them have a bad feeling about going to the hospital for venomous snake bites.

When bitten by a venomous snake and you’re at the hospital – if the staff knows what they are doing they will test the antivenin before giving you the full dose. Antivenin causes severe allergic reactions in some people – and death. The antivenin may kill you and the snake venom – not kill you. This is another factor in the guys not wanting to visit the hospital for treatment – they have seen and heard about others that have died as a result of the administration of antivenin for a bite.

Dtom will visit the hospital again today to have part of the necrosis – dead tissue – cut away around the bite site. He invited me to shoot some video of it – but, I’m not all that into seeing people cut with knives – even if they can’t feel it – I can.

If he stops by the house I might be dragged over to watch. I’ll point the camera and look the other way.

Dtom didn’t have an extreme reaction to the bite because this is his 4th bite by a monocled cobra. Gradually the body builds up resistance to the venom, and each reaction to a subsequent bite – is lessened.

I asked one of the other snake guys if he wants to work with the cobras now, having seen a bite up close and personal. He said – NO. This guy was there for over a year and was working his way up to do the cobra shows soon. He has reconsidered. I’m glad he did.

If you want more information on the snakes of Thailand – have a look at my Thailand snake site – www.ThailandSnakes.com. I’ll get some video up of Dtom talking about the bite as soon as I get a decent internet connection at the house. Going on 2 months of absolute JUNK connection now since the rains were heavy.