Two endangered king cobras to be released back to the wild in Vietnam

By Cuu Long   May 21, 2019 | 09:50 am GMT+7
Two endangered king cobras to be released back to the wild in Vietnam
Two endangered cobras found in An Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/An Phu
Wildlife experts are considering returning a pair of king cobras to Cam Mountain in An Giang Province well away from human habitation.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has instructed local authorities to identify a suitable place to release a pair of king cobras a local company recently captured and is holding captive.

The plan is to release the snakes back to Cam (Forbidden) Mountain, really far away from human habitation, where no tourist visits and where there are unspoiled habitats suitable for them to live, Tran Anh Thu, vice chairman of the southern An Giang Province, said.

He said the province has asked experts from the Wildlife Rescue Center to survey the area and find the most suitable spot at the top of the mountain. The pair would receive care prior to being released to ensure they survive in the wild, he said.

The snakes were reportedly discovered two months ago by a group of workers while clearing land for a solar power project at the foot of Cam Mountain.

They captured the snakes, which they claimed were 6-7 meters (19-23 feet) long and weighed 30 kilograms (66 pounds), and kept them in a tourist area on Tuc Dup Hill.

The king cobra is the world's longest venomous snake, with the largest known individual measuring nearly six meters, and is endemic to forests from India through Southeast Asia.

It is currently threatened by habitat destruction and has been listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List since 2010. In Vietnam, the king cobra is classified as an animal with a high extinction risk and the law bans their exploitation for commercial purposes.

Cam is one of seven mountains in An Giang, and at 705 meters is the tallest in the Mekong Delta. According to locals, the mountain was in the past home to a wide range of wild animals such as deer, tigers, leopards, and king cobras.

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