Forest Cobra

 

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Forest Cobra

Range: Western tropical Africa. Senegal east to western Ethiopia and southern Somalia, south to Angola and Natal

Habitat: Heavily forested regions of western Africa.  Sierra Leone and surrounding regions.

Natural Diet: Small mammals, birds, and snakes

Diet at Rain Forest: Pre-killed rodents

Size: 6-8 feet, specimens have been recorded over 9 feet in length. 

Rain Forest Facts: The Forest Cobra is the second largest species of Cobra on earth.  The Rainforests of western Africa are home to this large predator. Reaching lengths of over 7 feet, this Cobra can deliver a very powerful bite to any would-be predator.  Not afraid to stand their ground, the Forest Cobra is often regarded as an aggressive species in captivity. 

Mating behavior of the African Forest Cobra includes male ritual combat.  Two males will literally "dance" with each other to determine who wins the right to mate with the female cobra.   Death or serious injury rarely occurs from such ritual behavior.  Once a male has established his dominance, the loser will generally move on with out any further incident.  Juvenile cobras ,however, must beware of large adults. The cobra is cannibalistic and will readily make a meal out of smaller snakes. 

Status in Wild: Recent data suggests this species is declining rapidly near and around expanding human habitations as well as agricultural areas.  This snake species may never have existed in large numbers to due its position in the environment as an apex predator.

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