King cobra with head raised as it slithers across its exhibit.

King Cobra

At A Glance

  • Conservation Status: Stable
  • Location: Discovery Outpost
  • ZOO ZONE: Discovery Outpost

    The king cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world. Special muscles and ribs in its neck spread out to form a "hood" when the cobra feels threatened. This makes the snake look bigger than it really is and may help scare predators away. King cobras make a deep, loud hiss, a warning signal that can be heard from a distance. The message is: "I am big, bad, and will bite you if you come any closer!" Most cobras are known to protect their eggs after laying them, but the female king cobra does even more. She uses her body and head to move leaves around to build a nest. After she lays her eggs, she covers them with more leaves and stays on top of the nest until the eggs hatch. Look for our king cobras, as well as other cobra species, in the Zoo’s popular Reptile House.

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