Bronx Zoo Rehabs Stowaway Indian Cobra

December 18, 2015

A dehydrated and weak Indian cobra (Naja naja) was safely captured from a shipping vessel at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey after longshoremen who were unloading the ship discovered it. The ship had previously traveled through South Asia, where the snake is most likely to have come aboard. Crew with the Maersk Sana were unloading a cargo hold when one of them spotted the snake. They called federal officials who in turn called state wildlife officials, who called the Bronx Zoo. The zoo sent herpetologist Kevin Torregosa to the port. Torregosa and his partner were able to locate the snake and safely capture it, but brought antivenin as a precaution. 

The 18-inch, estimated 1-year old snake is a female that they have named Sana, after the ship in which it was found. She is currently in quarantine at the zoo, and if the snake stays at the zoo, it will be the only species of its kind at the zoo. 

Indian cobras can reach 4 to 7 feet in length and are known for the pale spots on the spread hood. The venom of this snake can cause respiratory failure, severe pain, swelling and tissue damage and eventually death if not treated quickly. The Indian cobra, one of the world's deadliest snakes, is native to Pakistan, India, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka. 

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