PROPOSAL FOR A NEW NATURE RESERVE FOR ASIAN COBRAS IN AMSTERDAM – 2008
Location: Begraafplaats Zorgvlied, Amsterdam.
The Asian cobra is native to the Indian subcontinent which includes present day Nepal, Pakistan,
India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It can be found in plains, jungles, open fields and the regions
heavily populated by people. Its distribution ranges from sea-level up to 2,000 meters above sea-level.
This species normally feed on rodents, toads, frogs, birds and other snakes. Its diet of rats leads it
to areas inhabited by humans including farms and outskirts of urban areas.
The Asian cobra's venom mainly contains a powerful post-synaptic neurotoxin and cardiotoxin.
The venom acts on the synaptic gaps of the nerves, thereby paralyzing muscles, and in severe
bites leading to respiratory failure or cardiac arrest. The Asian cobras are responsible for
the majority of human deaths by snakebite in Asia.
They are now protected in India under the Indian Wildlife Protection Act (1972).