In the king’s own country

Print edition : June 10, 2016

The king cobra in an aggressive mood at Kellur village near Agumbe. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Ajay Giri of the Agumbe Rainforest Research Station, wearing an infrared torch in a band around his forehead, locates the reptile, and drags it away from the well. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Ajay Giri hooks the king cobra. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Ajay Giri lifts the king cobra. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

Ajai Giri.

Ajay Giri coaxes the reptile into a long cylindrical bag, trying to guide it towards the interior portion of the bag. As soon as its tail disappeared into the cavernous bag, the string was pulled to close the mouth of the bag. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The reptile being released in an uninhabited wood. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The snake slithers away towards the bush, and then raises its head and watches for a while before disappearing into the darkness. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

The research station was set up by Romulus Whitaker, India's foremost herpetologist. Photo: Sudha Mahalingam

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