“Snakes can’t count.”
I uttered that under my breath as an 11 foot long king cobra scanned the room.
Owned by Andy Maddox of Pets-A-Plenty: The Ultimate Reptile Shop, the impressive serpent paid attention to everything happening in the room.
We were shooting a clip for my Kingdom Zoo television broadcast on GETV Kids and although I said they can’t count I was beginning to believe this cobra could.
Every time someone in the room moved, it marked them.
I have handled snakes thousands of times. At the Kingdom Zoo: Wildlife Center we have 25 species and never have I had a snake pay so much attention to its surroundings.
Not even close.
Then it happened.
Me and the cobra (safely held on snake hooks by Eric Haug and Maddox) looked me in the eye. Square in the eye in fact and I could see there was something going on there.
This was an intelligent being, certainly by reptile standards and it had an awareness unlike any other snake I had encountered.
My first look at a king cobra came at the Houston Zoo when I was six years old. In what I have come to know is a super rare experience, a 14 footer there hooded up at me and my mom as I pressed close to the glass.
Mom literally ran out of the room and drug me away kicking and screaming. I wanted to stay and watch!
Since that visit I have acquired some interesting information on king cobras and other varieties of the iconic snake we will be writing about here at The Wildlife Journalist.
It has been quite a learning experience for me and an exciting one as it hearkens back to my childhood of playing with rubber cobras in the backyard and seeing these magnificent animals at the Houston Zoo and Sea Arama in Galveston, TX.
Stay tuned and check out the video outtake from the encounter described above.
Chester Moore, Jr.