Catching a Cobra

  How to catch a Cobra...?


Before you want to capture such a snake... when you are in a country like Thailand (or equivalent) you must always take extra precautions: in your garden, in your garage, in your storeroom... before you want to lift something (stones, various oblets, a lawnmower...) you are never safe from finding yourself in front of this kind of animal. If the cobra does not really attack man, a hand or a foot can easily be attacked. So this first advice is really very important and must become a systematic reflex in this kind of situation. Never put your hands anywhere without being sure and without checking... especially don't work "blind".


It is certain that the first time you find yourself in the company of a cobra... your only desire is to get away from it as quickly as possible, don't worry, it is a normal reaction.
Then... one day, you can't help it, you end up standing up to it and you make your first capture by sweating profusely... then a second capture... then a third one... That's pretty much what happened to me here at home in Phuket. Now I can't count the cobras I've caught.


Si les visites de serpents sont nombreuses et régulières, la raison est très probablement due à une niche crée par une telle bestiole, soit
If snake visits are numerous and regular, the reason is most likely due to a niche created by such a creature, either under your house, somewhere in your garden... or also in the immediate vicinity of your home (if on the other side of your wall it is a jungle, you should expect visits). 
Following the final departure of our tenant neighbours, we discovered holes under the house which had remained empty. It is of course an ideal place to hide, to sleep, to breed... in short, we quickly concluded that cobras had taken up residence there. The presence of four baby cobras, 15 to 20 centimetres long, had given me a hint a few days before... I thought there must be a niche somewhere... but where? it seems that the origin has been discovered...
The people in charge of the maintenance of this house are going to fill up these holes with cement... this will greatly reduce these unexpected and rather disturbing visits.


This being said... the Cobra has the particularity and the reputation of being rather a fugitive... it is not aggressive as can be the Russell's viper for example. He's more afraid of you than you are of him. When he sees you, he may stand up but he's not going to jump on you. If he can, he'll look for a way out, he'll only ask one thing... to run away far, far away.
In the garden, you can very well sit quietly and be visited by a cobra who will only pass 2 meters from your chair without doing anything to you, and you, without you realizing it... (it happened to me too)
So, in the end, capturing a cobra is more about chasing it than the other way around. An Indochina snake for example (harmless) is much harder to catch: very fast, very elusive too.


Of course, you have to be a little equipped, and you're not going to go in there with your bare hands... 
With experience and to copy the pros who often have some kind of metal hook, I've made my own trap to catch these beasts: an old house painter's roller from which I removed the foam rolls to keep only the metal part. With this you can easily catch the bug with one hand... the other hand having a broom, a stick, a tool... to knock it out.
Yes, I know, normally we just have to capture them and release them a little further into the wild... but I'm not yet at the stage of being able to put a cobra in a bag to release it further.
The moment when you are most likely to encounter cobras is at nightfall... they go in search of food: toads etc... so there too, always be suspicious....
The rainy season is also a good reason to find snakes at home: these animals are looking for dry places to be sheltered.

 Quelques précisions sur le Cobra Royal

It is well known... snakes hide to be quiet... 
Here, an old AC compressor stored against a wall for a long time. An ideal hiding place.

On this picture we can only see the skin of the snake after its moult. One thing is sure, it had taken up residence here and the occupants of the house had not noticed anything.

The Royal Cobra molts about 4 times a year, this allows it to grow. It moults because its skin becomes too small for it, so for a period of about two weeks the Royal Cobra hides because it is vulnerable.

The Royal Cobra is ophiophagous which means that it feeds exclusively on other snakes, in general it feeds on other Cobra and bongare which are snakes belonging to the Elapiadae family which includes Taïpans, Cobras, Black Mambas and Coral Snakes.

After the incubation of the eggs some time before they hatch, the female leaves, because not having eaten for 2 months, she risks eating her young, indeed the Royal Cobra can be cannibal.

The Royal Cobra is not a particularly aggressive snake, it will only attack if it feels threatened. In this case, it will stand up to 1m50 from the ground and then start to hiss violently and blowing strongly. Then he spreads his hood to make himself more imposing.

The Royal Cobra is a cunning snake. During the day it hides in the rocks, or it goes to high places to hunt, if a prey passes within its reach it will descend silently to follow it and then attack it.

The breeding season starts at the beginning of the dry season. The Royal Cobra is oviparous which means that it reproduces by eggs which hatch outside the body. It is one of the only snakes to build a nest.  The female lays between 20 and 40 eggs that will take about 2 months to hatch. During this time, the female watches over them without eating.


If you are not too sure of yourself, it is better to call the specialists who will get rid of the unwanted bug (pictures below)

The Kusoldharm Foundation in Phuket, can be reached at: 076-246 301 (24 hours a day).

However, it is recommended that the caller be able to speak a little Thai. If this is not your case, ask your Thai neighbour to take over.

  Snake Trap


At home, you can easily tinker with a snake trap. I made myself one that has already served me several times and therefore, that has proved its worth.

The device consists of a PVC tube 20mm in diameter and 2 metres long. A strong rope passes through the pipe with a loop at one end, and enough string at the other end to tighten the beast.

You will have to try to place the loop around the snake's head and tighten the rope.

However, even with this trap, Cobras should be approached with extreme caution and it is better to wear safety glasses, as some of them can spit venom with extreme precision into your eyes up to 3 meters.


Another kind of trap, this qi clamp should be quite practical and safe.
This utensil can be purchased by mail order (Lazada; Ali Express) the price is very affordable


A painter's roller... at the end of a pole of about 2 meters... ideal to catch the beast...

 La démo...

A short visit to our property... and the opportunity to use the "snake trap".

Once tightened, the animal can no longer do anything....

For the record, this absolutely non-aggressive bug, (Indochinese Rat Snake) i. e. an indochine snake, was 140 cm long...

What was this cobra going to do under a flower pot... we'll never know...

With my pole at the end of which I fixed a metal rod (old painter's roller) it is quite easy to "block" the cobra with one hand, then with the other hand, I use for example a piece of wood to settle his account permanently.


Our dogs have spared us a few worries with these snakes several times in recent years. Indeed, many times we have heard them barking abnormally, a sign of foreign presence: cat, rat, snake... specific barks easily recognizable for us.

Many times, they killed cobra snakes, indochine snakes, tree snakes... and each time, when this situation occurred, they were hysterical, uncontrollable, wild.

Unfortunately, what was supposed to happen one day finally happened, "Coffee", my daughter's favorite dog, was surprised by a huge cobra (1.50m) who took refuge in my tool room.

He succumbed to the bite 30 minutes later, the veterinarian being able only to note the death after a few attempts at resuscitation.
The majority of cobras of this type, generally measure about 1 meter, this one much longer (1.50m which is a lot), is to say my "surprise" when I saw it at the end of my flashlight, in the dark!

The snake trap: described above was used to capture this huge cobra. I was also surprised at how easy it was to catch him: approaching the rope circle near his head very slowly, the snake literally threw itself into it. In a flash, all I had to do was tighten the rope at the other end, I held it for good. Was it a stroke of luck, did I take risks...? In any case, think carefully before intervening, this kind of situation is dangerous!

On the picture above, lifeless "Coffee" and its killer.... Goodbye "Coffee"!