Premieres Wednesday, August 16 at 8 PM ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
Slither into the rainforests of the Western Ghats in southern India with “COBRA KING,” and meet the longest-living venomous snake on the planet. The king cobra’s venom glands inject up to one-and-a-half teaspoons of lethal liquid neurotoxins in one stab – a dose potent enough to kill a full-grown Asian elephant.
These dangerous snakes are sacred in India, but often enter homes unwelcomed. “COBRA KING” follows wildlife biologist Gowri Shankar, who has dedicated his life to protecting and researching snakes, as he leads a special task force to rescue poisonous snakes from local villages and return them to their natural habitats.
Two miles from the bustling towns of southern India, the lush Western Ghats rainforest harbors a sacred but deadly deity, the king cobra. Reaching lengths of up to 18 feet and packing enough venom to kill an elephant with a single strike, this apex predator is both revered and feared by its human neighbors. But right now, the imposing beast isn't looking for a fight. He's looking for love. It's mating season in the Western Ghats, a period when most human-snake conflicts occur, and it's up to an expert wrangler, Gowri Shankar, to keep the peace.