Friday Oct, 30 2020 12:25:06 PM

North Cotabato prov'l gov't protects constituents from King Cobras 

Local News • 06:15 AM Wed Oct 14, 2020
John M. Unson

COTABATO CITY --- Residents in North Cotabato province are panicking over frequent sightings since December of venomous King Cobras slithering through their farms, a number of people killed in attacks since. 

North Cotabato Gov. Nancy Catamco, chairperson of the provincial disaster risk reduction and management council, announced Tuesday that her office has allocated funds for the procurement of anti-venom injections for snakebite patients. 

No fewer than 50 large King Cobras, known in local vernaculars as “Banakon,” were killed, photos of which went viral on Facebook, by residents in North Cotabato’s Magpet, Arakan, President Roxas, Makilala and Mlang towns and in barangays in the provincial capital, Kidapawan City.

The latest to perish from a King Cobra attack in the province was a grade school girl in Arakan, bitten last month while out in the field, on her way to a grassy hill to check on their grazing farm animals.

Catamco said she has requested experts from different government agencies to study why King Cobras in hinterlands in the province have become restive.

Catamco and municipal officials are convinced it was the series of strong tremors that jolted the province in late 2019 that may have possibly spooked and forced the King Cobras out from their natural habitats.

“Just the same, we need the opinion of experts. Meantime, we have to store anti-venom injections as part of our contingency measures,” Catamco said.

She said she has instructed local officials in the province to educate their constituents on what to do in case they see King Cobras in their farms and how to respond to snakebite cases.

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