The Forest Department in Odisha has rescued a 12-foot king cobra that was found inside an abandoned well. Footage shared by news agency ANI shows the venomous snake swimming in the well before it was captured and released back into the wild.
The king cobra was found in the Khunta area of Mayurbhanj district on Tuesday. An image that has been widely shared on social media shows the snake in a face-off with its rescuer.
“Forest Department rescued a 12-feet king cobra from an abandoned well in Khunta area of Mayurbhanj district yesterday,” read the caption from ANI.
While some praised the forest department for rescuing the snake, other Twitter users remarked on the cobra’s size.
“Magnificent creature,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Well done. The species is almost nearing extinction it’s important we save their habitats and not kill them,” said another.
In a video of the rescue operation, a snake catcher is seen holding onto the king cobra as a crowd of curious bystanders looks on. Some were seen recording the scene on their mobile phones.
According to a forest official involved in the rescue, the king cobra’s health was checked before it was released back into the wild.
In a similar incident last year, a king cobra had been found in an abandoned well in Burujhari village of Odisha’s Ganjam district.
The king cobra is the world’s longest venomous snake that can grow up to 19-feet. Although it tends to avoid confrontations with humans, king cobras can be extremely dangerous when provoked.