Cape Cobra - Naja nivea

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Photo courtesy Nick Aitchison

Average Length: 1,3 m. Names in other languages
Afrikaans: Kaapse Kobra.
Look for:
  • Black to brown, orange and yellow body, often mottled with coffin-shaped head
  • Spreads a wide hood when threatened
  • Can not spit venom
  • Active early morning and during daytime


Distribution


Venom Type: Neurotoxic. Venom is the most potent of cobra venoms and as potent as black mamba venom


First Aid

Immobilise and reassure victim, who must lie down and be kept as quiet as possible. Apply pressure bandage immediately, see First-aid procedure;  immobilise limb with a splint to reduce spread of venom. Loosen, but do not remove bandage if there is severe swelling. Take victim to hospital as soon as possible.

When breathing becomes difficult CPR is an urgent necessity until medical help arrives

Habits

An active, quick moving species. Although always ready to retreat if approached, it will often not hesitate to rear up and expand a hood if flight seems impossible. Will bite readily if unduly  molested.  It climbs and swims with agility. It cannot spit its venom.

Food

Rodents, birds, other snakes, lizards and toads.

Reproduction

Oviparous. Lays 8-20 eggs. Hatchlings 340-350 mm.

Enemies

Birds of prey and other snakes.

Habitat

Found in arid regions and river courses.

 

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Safari Media Africa / C. Mitchell 2002/2003

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