The Indian spectacled cobra is among the most common snakes in India. In the area of Nisarga, near the Bannerghatta Forest in Karnataka, south India, one of these was found injured on June 6.

On arrival she weighed one kilo (2.2pounds) and had a severe wound to her intestines. Though no one saw how she was hurt, it looked like the kind of accident that could have been caused by an excavation machine doing construction work. She might have been underground when it happened, so the machine operator would not have seen her.

When she was brought to the WRRC (Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre) in the Bannerghatta Forest, she wasn’t in very good shape. Dr. Roopa Satish first gave her shots for the pain, to prevent infection, and to stop the bleeding. Then the intestinal wound, which was muddy, had to be rinsed with a saline and antimicrobial solution.

The intestines had to be put back in properly, and then the tear on the skin repaired. A firm bandage was put on the snake. All this was quite exhausting for the snake, and she was placed in a clean vivarium with a heating pad where she could rest and recover in quiet place.

The cobra’s recovery

Because the wound was so serious and the intestines had to be given time to heal, the cobra couldn’t be fed for a while. She was kept on pain killers and strong broad-spectrum antibiotics and given fluids under the skin.

Two days after the surgery, she was beginning to look a bit livelier – even displaying her hood – which was a wonderful, encouraging sign.

Three weeks after the surgery, the wound was healing well, and the cobra is now on her way back to good health. It was an extensive surgery, and it’s good that she’s recovering so well and is on her way to being released.

She’ll still have to wait for one or two sheddings, which could take from one to three months before she can go back to the forest.

Then she’ll be able to resume her life back in the wild, happy to be well and free again – thanks to the skill of the doctors and the excellent care she was given by the WRRC.


By Sharon St Joan

The photo is of another cobra. Photo credit: Kamalnv, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

© Copyright, Forest Voices of India, 2023

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