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IND Press: Wanted: Mate for female cobra

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Fri Apr 18 06:52:51 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

TIMES OF INDIA (New Delhi) 12 April 08 Wanted: Mate for female cobra (Nikhil Deshmukh)
Pune (TNN): The Solapur zoo authorities certainly have their work cut out for them. Their task? To find a mate for a female king cobra they have in captivity. The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has ordered the administration of the Solapur-based Mahatma Gandhi zoo to find a suitable king cobra, within the next six months.
The 12-ft long and seven-year-old female black cobra was rescued last year from the Mauni Baba Math at Devane village near Solapur. The forest department then brought it to the Mahatma Gandhi Zoo.
"A suitable environment had to be prepared for the reptile, as summer temperatures in Solapur rise up to 43 or 44 degrees Celsius and the snake is used to wet, humid forests, said Vijaykumar Gatade, animal keeper at the zoo. "When we saw the cobra for the first time, nobody thought it would survive. Surprisingly though, its fangs had not been removed. Within a year, the cobra had recovered completely and now we hope that in finding a partner we will be able to breed it in captivity. It's our black beauty."
The cobra is proving a real draw. During Nag Panchami last year, the zoo was opened to the public for three days.
With tickets selling at Rs 5, the zoo managed to collect over Rs 1 lakh, with most people flocking to see the cobra.
Garden superintendent of Solapur municipal corporation, Dnyanraj Mhetras says, "Last year, we registered the cobra at the CZA, based in Delhi. Now it has directed us to find a mate for the female cobra. Letters have been sent to the Rajiv Gandhi Snake park, the Bahinabai Chaudhari zoo, and other zoos in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad. The Rajiv Gandhi has a pair of cobra, and the Bahinabai Chaudhari zoo has a male cobra. It could be brought to Solapur or the female could be moved to Pune for breeding."
The mating period of the cobra is between May and June, so the zoo's administration is anxiously awaiting the responses.
Next in line?
The cobra is on the endangered species list in India. Found in the forests of Karnataka, Goa, Tamil Nadu and states of the North East, the cobra is the only snake that builds its own nest and lays around 20 to 40 eggs. Because of such a specific habitat, the reptile, known as the king cobra because of its extremely powerful venom, is on the verge of extinction.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pune/Wanted_Mate_for_female_cobra/articleshow/2945906.cms
Wanted: Mate for female cobra


   

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