The increasing encounters with King Cobras or Banakon in various locations in Cebu instilled fear in Cebuanos. This fear was further heightened because on January 30, 2024, Tuesday, a 64-year-old farmer Maximo Millan from Dalaguete died allegedly from a snake bite.
Because of these recent cobra encounters and deaths caused by cobra bites, a rumor was spread around social media that these King Cobras had been dropped from a flying helicopter.
The Cebu Police Provincial Office (CPPO) advised the public to take unverified information circulating on social media with a grain of salt and stop sharing it to prevent the spread of misinformation.
The CPPO Information Officer, Police Major Windel Abellana, suggests to the public to immediately report it to the barangay officials and the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management once they have an encounter with a Cobras.
“We would like to advice our Cebuanos in the province of Cebu, particularly those in the areas that are likely to have the presence of this deadly reptile, to be alert and be careful. Do not panic wherever you see snakes in your locality, instead, contact the barangay officials, the MDRRMO, and the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) so they could address your concern immediately,” Abellana said.
Abellana also addressed Millan’s death caused by the alleged cobra bites.
“So that it would be scientific ang ating approach on the matter kay lisod man maghimo ta og kaugalingon’g assessment without basis, so from there once the autopsy result will be released that would be the basis kung tinuod ba nga snake bite ba to siya or naay laing health issues nga involve atong insidente,” Abellana stated.’
Abellana also stated that they are in coordination with the family of the victim for the autopsy to determine the real cause of his death.
The victim had two bite marks on his left leg, assumed to be a snake bite.
He also had a wound on his right arm, believed caused by an ant bite.
Despite the heightening fear of King Cobras, this should not stop us from being vigilant with the information we consume on social media by ensuring that it is from verified and legitimate sources. It should also not encouraged to share these unverified information to prevent the massive misinformation circulation.