A king cobra was found at Pui O Beach on the outlying island of Lantau on April 14 by hikers. They called the police and snake catcher William Sargent to attend to the matter. Sargent, who spoke to The HK HUB about the incident, said, “The king cobra was around 7-8 feet long, and appeared quite tired. I released it an hour later within Chi Ma Wan Country Trail.” Sargent took a picture of the cobra lying on the shore of the beach and shared it on the Facebook Group King Cobras, where it has racked up more than 400 likes and 100 shares.

king cobras hong kong 2024
The king cobra found by snake catcher William Sargent

The king cobra, which can grow up to 18 feet long, is known to be the longest venomous snake in the world and is one of eight native land snake species in Hong Kong that can inflict fatal bites — if not treated in time. Snake sightings in the city increase when the weather is hot and humid — typically between April and May — and the reptiles can be spotted in forests, water culverts, jogging trails, rives, and lakes. King cobras are found in small numbers across Hong Kong, and their diet consists of rodents, lizards, and even other snakes.

These cobras usually avoid humans and do not attack them unless provoked. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department recommends that laypeople should not attempt to catch snakes themselves to avoid getting bitten, even if one enters their homes. Instead, they should call the police hotline at 999 or a professional snake catcher. Victims of king cobra bites should be taken to the nearest hospital for professional medical treatment as soon as possible.

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Header image credits: William Sargent via Facebook

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From the Middle East to the Far East and a couple of places in between, Anjali has lived in no fewer than seven cities in Asia, and has travelled extensively in the region. She worked as a lifestyle journalist in India before coming to Hong Kong, where her favourite thing to do is island-hopping with her daughter. You can check out her musings on motherhood, courtesy her Instagram profile.

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