Sharmili Mallick

A 12-feet-long King Cobra, which was rescued with a major fracture in its rib from Chilika area in Khordha district on December 26, got a new lease of life after undergoing treatment at the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.

A team of veterinary doctors at OUAT under the supervision of Professor of Veterinary Surgery & Radiologist, Dr Indramani Nath put the head and upper body of the venomous snake in a restraining tube. Later, a cast splint using a plastic water pipe, cotton and gauze cloth was put to restrain the fractured area.

“As the fracture was near the heart level, we realised plastering was necessary. After plastering, we conducted an x-ray and the fracture lines were not seen which meant the plastering procedure was successful. Besides, the constrictions seen near the heart have also been relaxed,” said Nath adding that the King Cobra might take three weeks or a month to recover completely.

Subhendu Mallick, general secretary of Snake Helpline and Honorary Wildlife Warden (HWW) for Khordha district said, “We have rescued and treated many species of snake earlier but, this is the first time in India, including Odisha, when a King Cobra was treated for a fracture in its ribs. After the plaster, the snake seems relaxed and hopefully, it will recover soon.”

The OUAT experts said that the snake will recover within three weeks following which it will be released into the wild.

The King Cobra was rescued last Sunday with severe injuries by the members of the snake helpline from INS Chilika area and brought to the OUAT for treatment. Locals said that people stoned the snake after it entered a house. They added that someone threw a brick on it from the roof of a house which led to the deadly injuries.

A medical team at the veterinary college conducted an X-ray of the reptile that revealed four broken ribs beneath the injured area. Subsequently, the king cobra was given antibiotics and a painkiller injection as a relief measure and the treatment was done.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)