Indian vets battle to save cobra pierced with spear by terrified villager

Indian snake lovers put in herculean efforts to save the life of a monocled cobra on July 11.

Pramod Sundaray, a resident of Delanga near Puri in eastern India, spotted a cobra under the roof of his house. He alerted his neighbour who brought out a hunting spear with a pointed iron head and bamboo shaft and attacked the cobra.

The spear pierced through the four-feet-long snake's body and pinned it. But the agitated snake had enough courage to raise its hood and hiss continuously to keep people at a distance.

Upon getting a call from villagers, Snake Helpline sent a volunteer, Susant Kumar Behera, to the spot.

With the help of a villager, Behra cut the bamboo shaft short and took the injured snake to the veterinary college at Odisha University of Agriculture & Technology, Bhubaneswar.

An X-ray showed that the snake had not suffered any spinal injury. But the spear had damaged its lungs and several of its ribs.

The bamboo shaft was first completely removed. The vets then applied iodine to the spear and gently pulled it out. They disinfected the wound and gave the snake antibiotics and painkillers.

Dr. Indramani Nath, who treated the cobra, said: "The spear had pierced the lungs of the cobra. It is now under watch and the next 48 hours would be crucial."

Founder of Snake Helpline, Subhendu Mallik, said: "People should realise that cobras are a protected species under the Indian Wildlife Act. They can be arrested for injuring them."