King cobra kills Davao Sur farmer

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MALALAG, Davao del Sur – Authorities here warned residents to take extra precaution against snakes lurking in the grasslands following the death of a farmer due to snake bites.

This came after a certain Rico Cabañero Canoy, 27, a resident of Purok 5, Barangay Bolton, here, was found lifeless with multiple snake bites.

Dr. Teresita Golingay-Emphasis, the municipal health officer who conducted the post mortem examination of the victim, confirmed Tuesday that the bite marks on Cabañero’s left forearms and left portion of the body could have been inflicted by a King cobra.

The King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is a venomous snake endemic to forests from India to Southeast Asia.

Police Senior Master Sergeant Gherson Guerrero, the officer-on-case, said Bolton Barangay Captain Melvin Cabije called the authorities after the cadaver of Canoy was found by relatives in his farm.

Police quoted the victim’s common-law wife as saying that Canoy left their home past noon of August 4 to tend their farm but failed to return to their residence in the evening.

Canoy’s relatives immediately launched a search for the whereabouts of Rico early in the morning of August 5 and found his lifeless body on a grassy portion of his farmland.

Residents in the area believed that the culprit may have indeed been a King cobra since snakes of the same species have been spotted and even killed by villagers in recent weeks.

King cobras are commonly spotted in the mountain villages of Digos City going to Mt. Apo Natural Park. These snakes are known to come out from their lairs during summer for their mating season, police said. -PNA

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