Denver Zoo’s 18-year-old king cobra fighting skin cancer

(WFLA) — Who would have thought that an animal covered in scales could get skin cancer?

It’s happened to an aging snake at the zoo in Denver, Colorado.

The 18-year-old king cobra was diagnosed with skin cancer in February.

Zookeepers suspected something was wrong when they noticed an unusual spot on its scales and it was rapidly losing weight.

Since zookeepers had never heard of skin cancer in reptiles, they had to develop their own treatment regiment by feeding the snake dead rats stuffed with chemotherapy pills.

The cobra has had three treatments and so far they say it appears to be working.

“It’s exciting that we’re actually attempting to treat this and I don’t want to get overly optimistic, I’m guarded, but you know the blood work so far shows that we’re seeing improvements,” Zookeeper Tim Trout said.

Zookeepers say they plan to continue the treatments until the snake hopefully enters remission.


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