Pet of the Day

May 9, 2003

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Sunkist, the Pet of the Day
Name: Sunkist
Age: Eight months old
Gender: Male
Kind: Aberrant Orange King Cobra
Home: Indialantic, Florida, USA
   This isn't an animal most people should keep as a pet unless they are experienced professional handlers with the proper permits and licenses and plenty of antivenom in the fridge! Sunkist is a 10' male king cobra from Malaysia. His bright orange coloration is very rare, seen only in a few of his species.

    Sunkist is a professional "working pet". Along with a number of other venomous snakes in my collection, he donates venom for research and poses for educational photographs and film footage. He also makes a wonderful decorative display in his securely locked cage in my living room, although he spends most of his time inside of his hide box which makes it very easy to clean the cage. Sunkist gets dedicated veterinary attention from the brave doctors at the Indialantic Veterinary Clinic, who also help out with our rescue, rehab and relocation operations on Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes. I hope to find a female of similar appearance so that this unusual color variant will continue in their offspring. The more bright orange king cobras in my house, the merrier! I am also raising up a baby captive bred Burmese king cobra whose appearance will be very different as an adult with black and white bands.

    Although Sunkist is special to me, please do not try to keep venomous or dangerous wild animals as pets unless you have the proper safety tools, secure housing, years of professional training and all the licenses and permits required by your state. If you are considering a snake as a pet, a captive bred ball python or corn snake makes an excellent starter.

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