Upon receiving communication from the Division Forest Office, Parbat about the presence of a King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) in Kushma Municipality, Ward Number-9, Katuwachaupari, a rescue team from NTNC-ACAP and Snake Conservation Society, Nepal set out to secure the site of a nesting King Cobra.
The female King was seen guarding its nest, and the rescue team have taken to ensure for the sites safety along with putting in place necessary monitoring provisions. To this end, first a King Cobra awareness campaign was organized among village locals, focusing on the importance of King Cobra conservation, snakebite lessons and about venomous snakes found in Nepal. A King Cobra short documentary was also screened as part of the awareness sessions. Thereafter, the team together with the Division Forest Office put up a fence on three sides of the nesting area to prevent human disturbance. A camera trap has also been placed in the nest area to enable its monitoring, which the team will be conducting until the eggs have hatched. Incubation period of King Cobra eggs are about 80 days.
Present studies reveal that King Cobras are found in 38 districts in Nepal with 219 individual records (up to 2018) since it was first recorded in 1974, this although there is no population estimation to date. Despite having been recorded in the past, the nest is a first sighting in Parbat district.
"Even though King Cobras are mostly found in Nepal's Terai tropical forests, they are observed to prefer to take to the mid-hills during mating and nesting, likely because they want to incubate their eggs away from high predatory activity," says Conservation Officer Rishi Baral from NTNC-ACAP. Before this sighting, in the past King Cobra nesting sites have been evidenced also from Syangja, Kaski, Lamjung, Dolakha and Kathmandu in Nepal.