Spots Appear On 18-Year-Old Cobra’s Skin So He’s Given Chemo Pills Until He’s Cured Of Cancer

by Ann-Sophie Kaemmerle
Native New Yorker, University of Virginia graduate, runner, and sometimes stand-up performer.

An 18-year-old king cobra living at the Denver Zoo is very lucky to have Tim Trout as his zookeeper.

The reptile is about 120 years old in “snake years,” according to Tim, who was the one who noticed some spots on the snake’s skin that he knew weren’t supposed to be there. After all, the two have spent a lot of time together.

Tim says: “He came here just a couple months after I did. As a young snake, he was maybe only three feet long and as big around as a pencil.”

“We’ve both watched each other grow up and get old,” he added.

Tim alerted the zoo’s veterinarian clinic about the spots, and tests confirmed that the king cobra was suffering from lymphosarcoma, a form of skin cancer. This was an unusual diagnosis, so vets had to come up with an unusual treatment.

They chose to put the snake on chemotherapy pills normally taken by humans. They put the capsules inside dead rodents, which were then fed to the snake.

Now, thanks to this revolutionary treatment, the king cobra is in the clear and cured of skin cancer! He will be able to spend at least a few more years in the zoo and enjoy a long life with his keeper Tim.

Please SHARE if you’re amazed by what modern medicine can do, even for animals!

Footage provided by KDVR Denver

Thumbnail Photo: KDVR Denver; Facebook / Reptilienzoo Forchtenstein

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