Category Archives: Cobra

King Cobra-Naja Naja

This is not something to alarm you but to point out how man has neglected the use of cobra venom for therapeutic use.

In addition there is a paucity of knowledge how venom evolved in animals and how some animals are resistant the smaller doses of venom.
I teach that it is the venom that is produced in our body after the bite that kills us not the cobra venom (to illustrate the fact that cytotoxins have multitude of actions).
For example bradykinin that causes pain is the product of our own tissues.

Snake venom is a modified saliva and we really do not know whether these are produced in evolution for digestion of the prey or to immobilize or anesthetize (humane to the dying prey). None of the points I have raised have been addressed conclusively and potential for the use of the modified venom molecule for treatment of leukaemia or cancer cells or as antithrombotic activity have not been discussed in scientific journal adequately..
The answer is simple.
Once they discovered that antivenom as a cure, everybody forgot about the biological role and what system they act and why, when where and how they modify the homoeostatic mechanisms.
Moment the commercial activity of preparation of antivenom starts the scientific investigation of biological nature takes a back stage.
That is very unfortunate.
There lot we can learn from these cytotoxins.

Coming back to cobra (baby cobra-are as poisonous as the adult), I killed a young cobra with a ruler when I was as young as the tiny cobra who was under my bed.

When that little fellow made his hood and kissed the death I fell heroic and also very sad.
Then in another incident when I jumped over huge cobra in a big compound and looked around to see he was as frighted as I was and showed his hood with a warning and quietly slipped away to his safety, I wondered why fear an animal who is on his routine search of his food or prey.

I still say the jumped I made that day worth an Olympic record if somebody made an accurate measure on that day. Unfortunately I missed an Olympic record since officials were not there to record it. That would have changed my life completely but the day that completely changed my mind was another ordinary day.
I was walking along a stream with the intention of catching guppies and I had a stone in my hand (we used to play marbles those days unlike today’s kids) and I saw a water snake (harmless creature) quickly swimming across in fear.

I took an aim in a moment of irresponsible stroke of mind of ill will and thought, threw the stone at the poor creature and it landed right on his neck.

It was like a bulls eye shot but the agony of the creature who succumbed in a long drawn out 5 minutes of death dance made an impact in my mind never to hurt (reflecting my killing in fear of the young cobra) an animal in either fear or sport.

Then on one night (2 am in the morning) in darkness a Ceylon krait landed on my right shoulder and I brushed it with my left hand gently and put the light in a flash to see creature landing on cement flow with a thud and my dog charging at it, I was man thinking of three lives my dog, myself and the poor creature who ventured at night.
Mind you Ceylon krait is the deadliest of Sri-Lankan venomous snakes.

I watched the creature and it quickly disappeared into crevice wide open due to rotten timber of the bathroom door.

I did not have any cement to seal and went to the kitchen an took some American flour (who says American flour has no place in this country) and sealed the hole with the dough hastily made since the price of flour was very cheap (cheaper than the cement) then.

Suffice is to say I flushed the hole with water before I did that and slept on the settee fearing few more in my bedroom.

After three days it emerged (none elsewhere) from the kitchen floor cracked and we caught it and released it to safety.

Of course I had to cement both holes in the bathroom end and the kitchen end.

The key point here is that animals fear us more than we fear them in this modern world where are we are encroaching on their habitat with blatant disregard to biodiversity.