"To me the most beautiful of all is the king cobra," Laita says. "It's like a lion."
Laita says he is drawn to the way the big snake moves, with surprising speed and aggression. But these characteristics made the species one of the most problematic to work with as well. Laita says the king cobra is capable of doing whatever it wants, so even with a trainer on the scene at all times, the photographing sessions turned out to be "a little hairy."
"We did lose a king cobra," Laita says. "We found it eventually, but it got away and got into some cabinets."
After the escape fiasco, Laita decided to photograph the king cobra in a plexiglass box to prevent another high speed chase. "It's like having a car with three engines in it," Laita says.
- Distribution: Southern and southeastern Asia
- Habitat: Forest
- Length: Up to 18 feet