King Cobras `Raja' and `Rani' now in one cage
Kannur: Visitors who reach Parassinikadavu Snake Park can see two King Cobras together. The decision to maintain both the snakes in the same cage was made not to please the increasing visitors in the park but to impregnate the female snake ‘Rani’. Earlier too, ‘Rani’ and ‘Raja’ were put in the same cage and separated after their mating. But even after a certain period Rani did not lay eggs. This made the park authority to shift Rani again to Raja’s cage.
Previously Rani had laid eggs. No eggs hatched the first time and out of 11 eggs, 4 hatched the second time. The eggs of king cobra have a very low survival strength.
The mating period of king cobras usually spans from January to May. Two months after mating, the king cobra will make a nest pile with dried leaves and twigs to incubate the eggs by increased temperatures of decomposition. The eggs will take 90-103 days to hatch. Though the king cobras lay eggs even without mating, the size of eggs will be small and there will be difference in the shape too.
Last April, the mating of the snakes was captured in CCTV footage and following this, the female king cobra was shifted to a separate cage. As the female did not lay eggs even after the specified time, the park authorities decided to put Rani again in Raja’s cage.