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New Delhi, May 17, 2015(Agency) :  After a wait of 20 days, visitors to the National Zoological Park in Delhi can now see a 14-foot long King Cobra.The lethal reptile, which was in quarantine ever since it was handed over by the Rajasthan Forest department, was brought out for public view on Saturday.The reptile house of the Delhi zoo witnessed an unusual buzz on Saturday with visitors thronging to get a glimpse of the olive brown and black King Cobra. It could be between 25 to 30 years old, said zoo officials.The snake was released for public view in the presence of the ranger in-charge and the animal head keeper.“The King Cobra is fit and has become very active now. It was extremely docile and inactive in the initial days as the owner of the reptile had always housed it in a small box. We kept the snake in quarantine for around 20 days wherein it was taken out for exercising every day in a garden,” said Dr N Panneer Selvam, senior veterinarian at Delhi zoo.The snake had shed its skin and passed the sensitive phase where it was at risk of getting wounded. “The faecal samples, tests for ticks, mites and lice have been done and the snake is healthy. It has no external or internal parasites,” he added.Chicken feedUsually a King Cobra feeds only on rat snakes and water snakes, but this one is being fed half a kilogram of chicken on a weekly basis. “It was being fed chicken by the previous owner, hence we are continuing with the same diet,” said a zoo official.While this King Cobra has no fangs which veterinarians suggest would soon grow back, yet it is one of the most venomous snakes in the world.“Its venom is a powerful neuro-toxin (affecting the central nervous system) and is capable of delivering a fatal bite,” said Selvam.The Rajasthan Forest department had seized the reptile from a resident of Kota district who was trying to sell the reptile. The court had then ordered that the snake be sent to a zoo.
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