There are certain tasks best left to the experts. Although you might try a hands-on project here and there, removing a spitting cobra should never be one of them. In Standerton, South Africa, there’s a beautiful town that’s home to a farm-style environment that connects visitors to the bustling natural world around them.
Although guided horse tours and poultry farms make up part of the lifestyle here, with nature come some of its most respected members. Rinkhals, also known as ring-necked spitting cobras, are native to this area in South Africa and though they’re quite beautiful, they are also dangerous.
What is a Ring-Necked Spitting Cobra?
Ring-necked spitting cobras are venomous snakes that appear much like other cobras but are actually part of a different genus. They are called spitting cobras because of the way they rear up and spread their hoods like true cobras.
Their venom is part of their defense but they’re most known for playing dead as a means of fooling predators. These snakes live up to 25 years and can grow up to 3.5 feet long. They’re not typically aggressive and prefer eating small rodents along with toads and frogs.
Do Spitting Cobras Actually Spit?
Yes, these snakes do spit their venom and the venom can travel a distance of up to nine feet. However, since they’re not typically aggressive, they exhaust other options before using their venom. They may slither away to find a hiding spot, or they may play dead in hopes whatever threat is present loses interest in them.
However, if they use their venom to spit, it may land in the eyes of a predator, which could lead to blindness. They may also bite, which is incredibly painful and requires antivenom right away. In this video, an expert is called out to relocate a spitting cobra.
The video starts just as the snake gets flushed out of a drain. It lands just ahead of the camera with its hood spread out. The snake feels a threat and it’s using its defenses to scare it off. It strikes toward the camera as the man approaches from behind with snake tongs.
The spitting cobra, as if feeling the man’s presence from behind, whips its neck around to face him. It strikes a few more times but the snake handler has nerves of steel — he doesn’t hesitate for a moment and manages to grab it on the first try, just as the snake keeps striking closer to his leg! He walks off, spitting cobra in tow, like a champ.
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