18-day battle between two male king cobras over the right to mate ends

Image Courtesy: Manoramaonline

The fight between two male king cobras over the right to mate a female king cobra in Kannur is expected to end soon, as the older snake—a 25-year-old king cobra—shows signs of withdrawal.

The other male king cobra and the female king cobra, both twenty years old, are thus thought to be ready to breed at the Parassinkadavu Snake Park near Dharmasala in Kannur.

A team of wildlife officials and researchers have camped at the park to capture the visuals. A team led by Gowrishankar, a snake enthusiast and wildlife official from the Peelikulam Boiological Park in Karnataka, continue to research by recording the visuals since the first week of March. The 20-year-old female snake is 3.5 metres long while the victorious male snake is 4.5 metres long.

According to researchers, the next stage in which the male and female snakes swim together had already begun and that they would mate in the coming days.

The fierce 18-day battle between the male snakes began on 3 March.

Several people, including foreign tourists, have gathered at the snake park to witness the battle.

All three king cobras live in an artificial forest inside a glass cabin. The mating season began in January and will end in March.

Traditionally, the female will only mate with the victor of the battle. It is also believed that the loser may attack the female cobra in vengeance. Officials said that they would remove the snake that lost the battle from the cabin as soon as the female cobra appears to cooperate with the victor.

Gowrishankar told the reporters that the snakes only mate when they’re in an apt natural situation. After mating, the snakes make a home out of leaves and the female would lay approximately 30-50 eggs. The female snake would keep the eggs warm for hatching for about 90 days by observing a fast throughout and the male snake would stay at a watchful distance protecting them.

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