Venom from baby cobras born in Kentucky to be used for pain research

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POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The Kentucky Reptile Zoo has a few new snakes to show off. Several baby Indian Cobras hatched out of their egg on Sunday morning but their goal in changing lives is much bigger than being looked at through glass.

Workers will use the slithery creatures for medical research. Officials at the zoo say they will study the venom from the Cobras for use in pain medicine that could eventually replace opiates.

"I like thinking that maybe something I can do can help society or help civilization in some way."

Kristen Wiley who spends a lot of time working with the snakes says the new baby cobras are creating some buzz on the internet and in the medical field.

"There's actually a couple of different Cobras who venom is being used as a research as a possible alternative to opioid pain killers."

The Kentucky Reptile Zoo says its top priority is to provide venom for anti-venom and medical and pharmaceutical research. They also work to conserve reptile species and to educate the public.

The research is not being conducted in Kentucky but Wiley says the extractions play a pivotal role in Kentucky's opioid crisis.

"I don't know anyone who hasn't been touched in some way by the opioid crisis and so I think it's an important thing to try to help out and we are a very small part of what potentially can be done for it but all we can each do is our own part."

The zoo, located in the Slade community of Powell County, is open for tours every day from Memorial Day- Labor Day between the hours of 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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