How the King Cobra Maintains Its Reign

I can remember the first time I saw one, at the St. Louis Zoo, and the feeling that certain death was just on the other side of the glass. I could not get over the snake’s size — this one was about 12 feet long. I was used to looking at giant snakes in zoos (I always made a beeline for the reptile house), but pythons did not seem so scary to me because they rarely moved. This sleek, agile and very alert snake was a king cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world and an icon to all snake enthusiasts, including this writer.

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