New Snake Discovered in Cambodia

New species: the Cambodian kukri. Photo by: Photo: Neang Thy/FFI.

In the rainforests of Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains scientists have discovered a new species of snake.  Herpetologist Nean Thy has named this reddish-hued serpent the Cambodian kukri.

  • “Most kukri snakes are dull-colored, but this one is dark red with black and white rings, making it a beautiful snake,” says Thy.
  • The kukri snake gets it name from a distinctive dagger in Nepal.  This is because of the similarity between the snake’s fangs and the knife’s shape.
  • The kukri snake uses its non-venomous fangs to puncture eggs and then swallow them whole.
  • The Cardamom Mountains include some of the most diverse rainforests in the Indo-China region.
  • Some 250 bird species as well as rare animals such as Malayan sun bears, Indochinese tigers, pileated gibbons, Siamese crocodiles, and Cambodia’s largest population of Asian elephants call these forests home.
  • This rainforest is drastically threatened by deforestation, especially from land concessions for monoculture plantations.
  • The Cambodian government has recently taken a step in the right direction by announcing it would no longer be granting any new economic land concessions, but has since announced several.
  •  FFI’s Cambodia Program Country Manager, Berry Mulligan, has said, “The Cambodian kukri snake is the second new reptile we have described this year in Cambodia.  This shows how important it is that we fight to conserve this area.”

Want to learn more?  Read the full story here: ‘Beautiful’ new snake discovered in Cambodia

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