Earlier this month, wildlife officials in southern India made a rare discovery when they found a venomous snake inside a residence. The snake in question was an albino cobra, measuring five feet in length. It had slithered into the house during a period of heavy rain. The Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust, an Indian nonprofit organization, shared on Facebook that the cobra was safely rescued, examined, and eventually released back into the wild. The organization handed over the cobra to forest rangers after retrieving it from the home.
A video of the release was also shared on the organization’s social media page. The footage showcases the large ivory-colored snake swiftly emerging from a paper bag onto a patch of grass before disappearing into the forest.
The albino cobra, which was five feet long, was rescued by the Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust (WNCT) from the Kurichi neighborhood on May 3, 2023. Later that day, it was released into the wild in the forest areas surrounding Mangarai, a small village in the Perianaickenpalayam block of Coimbatore, located in the foothills of Anaikatti, at approximately 8:00 PM. Following the rescue, experts assessed the condition of the albino cobra at a secure location. Once deemed healthy and suitable for release, it was returned to the wild. The forested areas around Mangarai, where the snake was set free, are known for their diverse wildlife and provide an ideal habitat for the cobra to thrive. By releasing it back into its natural environment, the snake can continue its life undisturbed, contributing to the preservation of the species and maintaining the ecological balance of the region.
Cobras, with their flattened heads and characteristic hoods, are notorious for their danger. Their venom can cause paralysis and, if untreated promptly, can even lead to death in humans.
The Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust emphasized the importance of handling these snakes with extreme care and expertise, as any mishandling can have severe consequences. The organization also noted that albino cobras are a particularly rare breed of snake. Their white or yellow appearance is the result of a genetic abnormality that leads to a lack of melanin pigment in their skin. Albino cobras are not commonly found in southern India.
The May 3 rescue is just one of several incidents reported by India’s Wildlife and Nature Conservation Trust since the beginning of the month. In the past week alone, wildlife officials have rescued at least three other large, venomous snakes with the potential to be lethal, which were found in various neighborhoods across the southern Indian province of Tamil Nadu.
On May 10, a two-foot-long common krait was rescued from a property near the location where the albino cobra was discovered. Similar to the cobra, the common krait’s bite is highly venomous. Wildlife officials highlighted that a bite from a common krait can result in intense pain, swelling, respiratory muscle paralysis, and even death.
Three days later, a three-foot-long Indian cobra was found and rescued approximately 50 miles away. This species, also known as the “spectacled cobra,” is widespread in India and certain parts of Southeast Asia. The Indian cobra poses a particular threat to humans due to its potent venom, which, although primarily used for hunting prey, is highly toxic.
Around the same time as the Indian cobra’s discovery, a four-foot-long Russell’s viper was spotted and subsequently released after being found on a property in southern India. The wildlife conservation trust described the Russell’s viper as “one of the most venomous snakes in India,” noting that it can reach lengths of up to seven feet.