Al and Peggy's Corner: ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest - Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest - Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest - Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Words?

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, well have a look at the picture below.  Look at it close, take in the whole picture... do you see the thousand words?


King Cobra Snake feeding on a rat.

We had an occasion this past Saturday to visit the Reptilia Zoo and Education Facility located in the City of Vaughan at 2501 Rutherford Road.  You can see the smallest of reptilies to the largest Nile crocodile on display in Canada coming in at 14 feet long.

What you are seeing is a King Cobra having lunch.  Lunch is an eight inch long rat, brought into the zoo frozen, thawed out just before lunch time.  Our friend Mr. King Cobra is only fed once a week.  It took him just under an hour to finish lunch and get back to some modelling for all the spectators.

You may ask yourself, "why do you call him Mister", let us tell you that any snake especially this King Cobra coming in at 4.3 meters long with the potential of growing to 5.5 meters, that is 18 feet in that other language and being the largest venomous snake in the world and able to kill an elephant with one bite.  He gets our attention.

The King Cobra lives mainly in the rain forest and plains of India, southern China and southeast Asia.  The King Cobra's genus name is Ophiophagus, literally means "snake-eater" and it's main diet is other snakes even venomous snakes.  They are the only snake that builds a nest for their young.  The female builds the nest, lays 20-40 eggs and ferociously guards the nest until the eggs begin to crack open.  At this time instinct causes the female cobra to leave the nest to eat so she does not eat her young. 

The baby cobras when hatched are 45-55 centimeters long, are very aggressive and their venom is as deadly as an adult.

Our zookeeper, Andre informed us that most snakes have three forms of defense.  The first is to hide, the second is to flee and third is to attack.  When the King Cobra is threatened, it is capable of standing up to one third of it's length, it flattens it's neck ribs into a hood and makes a bone-chilling hiss.

If you were not able to see the thousands words when you looked at the picture, we hope our brief description of this deadly snake tells the story.  If you ever encounter one of these guys, get out of there.  They are fierce, agile and very deadly.

ActiveRainPhotoBloggerContest - Is A Picture Worth A Thousand Words?



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Al and Peggy CunninghamAl and Peggy Cunningham, Brokers

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10473 Islington Ave., Kleinburg, ON  L0J1C0


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Comment balloon 50 commentsAl & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers • May 02 2011 10:08PM


We always see something fun, educational, and amazing every time we go to the zoo!  It is nice to see someone else enjoys their time there too!

Posted by Carol Hamilton, Prudential, Real Estate, Omaha, NE (Prudential Ambassador) over 7 years ago

Hi Al and Peggy, I love animals, I really do. Even since I was chased from my swimming pool in Fla. by a water moccasin, I have just never quite learned to love the members of this family of animals. The snake handler that came to remove him from the patio was surprised at how bloody his head was as it continued to go after me continually striking the glass sliding door while I was on other side of it.  He mentioned that it was one of the most aggressive ones he has ever seen. I even typed comment this faster than usual as my heart is beating fast recollecting the encounter.

Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 7 years ago

Carol we like the zoo also, just not enough time to go as often as we would like.

William, the Reptilia Zoo had a lot of snakes, even a Boa that had ate a 48 pound goat for lunch.  Funny thing is, she hadn't eaten for four months as of last Saturday.  Apparently there are a bunch of little boas ready to wiggle into the world.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

uuugghhhh  couldn't hardly look but it reminded me of a neighbor of mine in California when I was right out of college...he had all sorts of reptiles....and he would go get rats or mice--live ones...and be playing wiht them like they were a hamster then all of a sudden he would slam it down on the counter to kill it and use it to feed a lizard or a snake!   I never could get used to it!   uuggghhh

Posted by Deborah Byron Leffler BzyBee Real Estate Lady! (Keller Williams Realty Boise) over 7 years ago

The only asp I have had an affinity for, was the Bronx Zoo Cobra, which managed escape, and Twitter while on the loose.  I loved that asp:-)  Neat photo. . .But the poor little rat:-)

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 7 years ago

Al and Peggy,

You've set the bar high for the PhotoBlogger contest...even if the subject makes people a bit skittish.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

It's okay Deborah, if that rat was running around your house, you would be dialing 555-cobra before you know it.

Myrl, this little guy was a whole lot bigger than a little asp, though the bite of an asp may get the same results.

Hi Richard, the zookeeper, Andre was a good guide, but even he used a long pair of tongs to introduce the rat to the King.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Oh boy - it's getting close to dinner time here, but I suddenly lost my appetite!   Wow, that is quite the action shot! 

Posted by Sally Weatherley, Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C (EXIT STAGE RIGHT) over 7 years ago

Amazing picture, and great informative post!

If I have nightmares tonight, I'm calling you!

Atlanta Condos For Sale

Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale ( |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) over 7 years ago

Hey guys, there's more in that picture that I would care to comment about. I don't like dem wiggly things

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 7 years ago

Someone better get him a TUMS, I hear the tails are spicy.  You win most interesting photo Al/Peggy.  ;-)

Posted by Anita Clark, Realtor - Homes for Sale in Warner Robins GA (ColdwellBanker SSK Realtors ~ 478.960.8055) over 7 years ago

Sally, we have heard that rat is a delicacy in some Countries.

Thomas, this guy won't bother you, the glass was pretty thick.

Mr. King doesn't wiggle Ed, he will stand up and stare you in the eye.

Aniita, a little rat won't hurt anybody, now the Boa across the asile, she eats goats.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I have no plans on going to China or the plains of India any time soon. We just had our own little set of excitment with the Bronx Zoo "losing" a cobra for a week last month. They found her and named her MIA. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 7 years ago

This is really interesting. Glad it was not live.

Posted by Tamara Schuster, Realtor Broker - Naperville (Naperville Glen Ellyn Lisle Plainfield Wheaton Illinois) over 7 years ago

Yikes....what a wonderful photo ...gulp....and what a story that was indeed!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 7 years ago

Feeding time at the zoo! Always a Kodac moment for some of us.

I believe that a picture is worth a thousand words, this one is no exception.


Posted by Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366, General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage (Dry Rot and Water Damage Mobile - 916-765-5366) over 7 years ago

Hi Al and Peggy - The first I ever heard of the Reptilia Zoo was when I attended the Main Street Markham Santa Claus Parade last November when the Reptilia Zoo had a float.  I have not yet visited it but I do have photos of its float in my photo portfolio.

Posted by FN LN over 7 years ago

I don't like snakes.  Interesting photo. 

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) over 7 years ago

Phillip, we are without, no desire to go to India or China.

Thanks for stopping by Tamara and Sally.

Tom, most pictures are worth a thousand words, just take the time when looking at it.

Marc, you will have to give it a try. You will come out of there with thousands of pictures.

Kenneth, most people think like you. These guys were not so bad, they were behind the glass.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

One of the new residents of the San Diego Zoo is over in the Reptile House, and he’s a 14-foot long king cobra. A couple of weeks ago when I went he was very active and I got some good pictures, too, but nothing like yours.

King Cobra at the San Diego Zoo

Posted by Not a real person over 7 years ago

Al and Peggy, when I have seen snake charmers, my first thought has always been, WHY?

... I guess it is like skydiving ... or eating the type of sushi that can kill you if not prepared properly...

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Al & Peggy- this is eerily captivating! It reminds me of the recent escape of the cobra from the zoo in NY. The twitter account someone set up to document the "journey" of the snake while it was out of it's cage was absolutely hilarious! Great photo here.

Posted by Margie Kopp Sorrell, Lake Oconee Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Lake Oconee Realty and Lake Country) over 7 years ago

I think on that one you should have given us advance warning. Perhaps an NC17 or R rating?

Posted by EC, JF, Double R and Zoey the Cool Cat (Russel Ray Photos) over 7 years ago

Awesome.....looks like one of my borrowers getting all over me.  This guy is defnitely not a mulit-tasker!

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 7 years ago

EEEWWW can't say that either of those critters are my favourites.  I don't think I could stay to watch that luncheon engagement.

Posted by Jenny Kotulak, Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate (RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Oh BTW where do I find out about this contest??

Posted by Jenny Kotulak, Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate (RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Russel your cobra looks pretty dark compared to ours but they are about the same size.

Chris, you got us... who would want to paly around with snakes like these.

Margie, glad they found him before he found someones pet dog or cat or goat.

Eric, there wasn't any blood.

Larry, just keep a stock of rats handy, keep them distracted.

Hi Jenny, this contest should be right up your alley, it's called Active Rain Photo Bloggers, click up where it shows where we posted this blog.


Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Al & Peggy - indeed picture worth a thousand words.... Now where is the desert LOL  Great shot :)

Posted by Petra Norris, Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale (Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc.) over 7 years ago

Hi Al and Peggy...., you Certainly Caught the moment with this photo for the contest and timmed your visit well, a few minutes earlier you might have been lunch!

Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) over 7 years ago

There are way too many slimy, crawly things in this post for me!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) over 7 years ago

Al and Peggy....interesting post.  I've never liked snakes and yet, I have always been fascinated by them. The marvels of nature....always an opportunity for learning.

Posted by Vickie Slade, Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On (Colorado Landmark, Realtors) over 7 years ago

OH MY!!!!  You took my breath away!!  And I was struck with what you captured ...possibly the elusive  moment of endings and beginnings...

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) over 7 years ago

Good question Petra, after the main course of "rat", what would be good for dessert?

Fred, you weren't going to find us without glass between us and the King.

Debra, we got to touch a couple of the other snakes, they had already eaten.  They are not slimy at all, give it a try next time you encounter a snake.

Vickie, you are in the same boat as many.

It's okay janeANNE, breathe... glad we are at the top of the food chain.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

That is am amazing shot!  And I think it is worth more than a thousand is nature in action!  Best,  Kathy

Posted by Kathy Schowe, La Quinta, California 760-333-8886 (California Lifestyle Realty) over 7 years ago

Oh dear, Al and Peggy...Bob is so into snakes (he had two when we first met) and even though the sight of them eating a whole mouse makes me cringe, I accept that it's all part of the life cycle. But I still don't like to look. :)


Posted by Bob & Leilani Souza, Greater Sacramento Area Homes, Land & Investments (Souza Realty 916.408.5500) over 7 years ago

Wow, what a picture!  I saw a rattlesnake lay perfectly still while he let a mouse run around and for a while.  Then all of a sudden --  "snap" -- he stung it with his venom.  Amazing sight to see how quickly the mouse was incapacitated and then . . . lunch.  Pretty disturbing, actually.

Posted by Melanie Hedrick, 972-816-7205 (Elite Texas Properties, the best homes from McKinney to Dallas!) over 7 years ago

Oh My!  The circle of life!  Great photo and entry  -  good luck on the win!

Posted by Barbara Hensley, Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas (RE/MAX Properties) over 7 years ago

Fascinating - you gotta look through your fingers, though!

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (ERA - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) over 7 years ago

Oh yes, take no prisoners, that picture is worth a 1000 words !

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 7 years ago

Yikes!!  Not what I want to look at!

Posted by Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator, Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro (West USA Realty) over 7 years ago

Al and Peggy....yep, I can think of a thousand words but I can't repeat them on this forum!!!!! Oh yeah, here's one.


BTW, it is a terrific pic. (slow down heart...slow down)

Posted by Deb Brooks (Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas) over 7 years ago

Thanks Kathy, was tricky shooting through the glass.

Leilani, you can tell Bob he can have the snakes, we just stopped by for the pot luck lunch.

Melanie, maybe there is a lesson in that for us... be patient.

Thanks Barbara, glad were not in the circle.

Virginia, just counted... still got all ten.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Thanks for stopping by David.

Hi Brenda & Ron... are we related.  We didn't like looking either, but the Grandchildren would have thought we were sucks.

Hey Deb, the King will slow down his heart now, only gets to eat once a week, guess that's why he settles for rat.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Al and Peggy, Yes a picture speaks a thousand words and the first few words are Watch Out!  The only snake that builds a nest for its young then leaves when they hatch so they don't eat their young: gosh, nature is amazing in how it ensures the survival of its species. 

That was also very interesting to read Williams story.

I am glad that I have only ever seen such snakes in a zoo. 

All the best.


Posted by Gloria Todor, & Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA (Century 21 Absolute Realty ) over 7 years ago

Dear Peggy and Al,

For me the sight of that snake was a 2000 word photo!  Thanks for letting me see it where I was safe!

Have a happy day,

Posted by Lynn B. Friedman, Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers (Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ...) over 7 years ago

Thanks for stopping by Gloria, Nature is amazing... how does a Bumble Bee fly with those tiny wings?

We are with you Lynn, behind the glass is a great spot for these critters.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Al & Peggy,

I do believe you are the type of people that DARE TO BE DIFFERENT! What a great story and photo. I can accept it as an educational piece on a post for a photoblog contest; however, it I was in the water or by the water and saw that, I'd be screaming my head off and running as fast as I could! But that's a different story.

You chose an interesting title. I have to wonder, what exactly does that mean? I say it myself, but I never really gave much thought. If I had write an essay and use a thousand words to describe your picture for a college credit, I would struggle to find one thousand specific things to say about it! Moral of the story - choose your words wisely!

Thanks for a very nice and educational post that got me thinking!


Posted by Patricia Feager, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 7 years ago

Hi Patricia, if you were to meet Mr. King Cobra face to face and he was hungry, you wouldn't have time to think a thousand words.  Good Luck!

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I Patricia - I once had a roommate that had 6 foot Pythons - I hated living with those rat-eaters as fascinating as they are. I can't even image an 18 foot cobra! Great photo!

Posted by Andre R. Aragon, Real Estate Photographer (Greater Tampa Real Estate Photographer) over 7 years ago

Andre, one of the King's neighbours was a 22 foot python, for a treat the Zookeepers fed her a 48 pound goat.  Wanna watch, here's it is.

Posted by Al & Peggy Cunningham, Brokers, Our Family Wants To Help Your Family! (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 7 years ago