Baby king cobras are born with venom that is as potent as the venom of their parents. Even before they're born, they benefit from parental care, which is unusual for many reptiles. Their mother, who actually builds a nest and lays between 18 and 50 eggs, guards the eggs until they hatch. The king cobra is the only snake known to build a nest.
The mother leaves the nest just before hatching to hunt. This is so she is not tempted to eat her own babies. After the eggs hatch, the baby cobras leave the nest to live on their own.
The baby cobra hatches in the fall. When it is born, it is between 12 and 25 inches long. It is usually black with bands of yellow or white. Later, it acquires its olive or tan adult coloration. When it is young, a king cobra may be mistaken for other snakes until it displays its famous hood.
Despite its independence, the baby king cobra is still subject to predation. Among the animals that may prey on a baby king cobra are the mongoose, the civet cat, the giant centipedes that are found in the snake's native India and birds of prey.