A king cobra, one of the most deadly snakes found in India. Photo: Ron McMillan

Villagers and forest rangers managed to capture a three-meter king cobra, the world’s longest venomous snake, after it took up residence at a home in Bakultala, West Bengal, but not without a long battle.

Ranger Sunny Varghese said it took several hours to remove the snake from the house of Ariya Shopen Dey, after apparently slithering in from the surrounding area on Thursday, The Echo of India reported.

“We are surprised to see a king cobra of such a length in Bakultala. Generally these snakes are rarely found here,” Varghese said. No-one was injured nor bitten during the capture of the snake.

According to the Journal of Clinical Toxicology, there are about 81,000 snake bites in India each year and 11,000 are fatal. The high death rate is due to a wide species variation, limited snake antivenom, a poor understanding of how to treat bites, a lack of education on snake threats and an unclear policy on how to respond to such threats.