Copyright © 2017 by Ali Bernie Buga-ay, all rights reserved. King Cobra: this photograph may not be used without permission.

The Cobras are one of the most famous and dreadful snakes in the world; it is found mainly in Asia and I have read and heard tales and stories about this creature. I remember my grandfather would talk about the experience they had with this snake and there is not only kind of it but there are a lot of them in different sizes and abilities. I will not write any technicalities about the Cobra but how I found it and how we perceive as an animal and within cultures and communities.

Not only tales and stories surround this creature but also myths and beliefs. I grew up in a community in which we hate snakes, nobody had a snake for a pet. In fact, we were taught that when you see a snake we kill it right away, those were horrible memories for me to remember. In the Philippines, especially in Davao, in Mindanao; there is a kind of snake which is popularized my myth and tales. It is the Banako. It is a snake believe to be very long, big in size, can stand taller than the kogon grass, chases people, and can move very fast.

As it was investigated and later people caught some of them and displayed at government compounds, it was discovered to that the Banakon is in fact a King Cobra. As curiosity of the snake sufficed, the stories in which mythical encounters were proven to be true.

I found this King Cobra at Kaeng Krachan National Park when were birding. The pond was supposedly a place in which Long-tailed Broadbills nest above the water and some other special birds come and enjoy the spot, turned into a hunting ground for the this snake. I saw is slithering in the water, i think this is a juvenile and can still grow bigger. In the same pond, we also found three Pit Vipers and it made the pond a more dangerous to be at as a birds or even as a snake since the King Cobra is a snake eater. I would have loved to find this snake with all of its length revealed for a perfect photograph but yet I am happy to have found it this way, showing how it behaves in the wild.

Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand
December 04, 2016
Nikon D500 + Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR

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