They may not be cute and cuddly to you, but to their keepers, these baby Samar cobras are as sweet as it gets.
“I’d rather see baby cobras hatch than see baby furry things any day,” reptile supervisor Bradley Lawrence says bluntly. (We think it’s safe to say Bradley doesn’t find our new penguin chick as adorable as the rest of the world.)
And we get it – our five baby Samar cobras are impressive. Hatched April 30, these little ones came out with miniature “hoods” and sassy attitudes that only a caretaker could love.
These babies are still fully capable of executing a venomous bite moments after hatching if they feel threatened.
“Their natural defending instincts immediately kick in – no wobbly legs, like newborn giraffes,” Lawrence said. “They’ll use their hoods the second they come out to try and act big and scary.”
And if you want to see Samar cobras at an AZA-accredited U.S. facility, you’ll have to come to Dallas or travel to the Philippines — the Dallas Zoo is the only AZA-accredited zoo that handles these cobras. Which means we’re also the only AZA-accredited facility to reproduce them. These five little ones mark our third clutch, and the first set of offspring for the parents.
Samar cobras are a highly venomous species of spitting cobra (they can project venom from their fangs).
“The Philippines is being deforested at an alarming rate; most species there are in trouble,” Lawrence explains. “And it’s hard to get wild population numbers on them because it’s extremely difficult to collect data on the islands where they live.”
You can see the babies’ father on exhibit now in the Herpetarium. And soon you’ll be able to view one baby Samar cobra at a time in the reptile nursery.