Update: This snake was actually discovered by Roygan Taylor working for Bio-Ken in Kenya. He has his own fantastic blog, which in addition to providing a lot of fascinating information about the enormous snake in question, covers all sorts of other interesting snake related issues in Africa. Check it out here http://www.wildlifedirect.org/blogAdmin/savingsnakes
Researchers have identified a new species of spitting cobra in Kenya, one that is over nine feet long and has enough venom to “kill twenty people” according to an “expert” on the subject in this article on nationalgeographic.com.
I’m your huckleberry.
The new cobra has been dubbed the Ashe cobra, after the late tennis champion Arthur Ashe who once…
…spit a mouthful of Gatorade into the eyes of a line judge for calling a baseline shot out. Just kidding, it’s named James Ashe, a herpetologist who started a research center/snake farm in Watamu, Kenya.
Experts used to link this brown cobra with its black spitting cobra cousins, but thanks to lab analysis of blood and tissue, they now have classified it as its own species. According to the National Geographic article, spitting cobras eat “eggs, carrion, snakes, lizards, birds, human babies, water buffalo, giraffes, and leopards.”
Say it, don’t spray–ok that was too stupid a caption to keep writing. Sorry.
WildlifeDirect Chairman Richard Leakey, whose organization announced the finding, said, “”A new species of giant spitting cobra is exciting and reinforces the obvious…There have to be many other unreported species–but hundreds are being lost as their habitats disappear under the continued mismanagement of our planet.” He later added, “Oh, my god. Oh, my god. My eyes. My eyes. Oh god it burns. It feels like someone is putting needles into my eyes. Please, kill me. Oh dear lord, please kill me now.”