PETALING JAYA: Unlike most snakes, the king cobras diet does not include eggs.
According to Taiping zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus, king cobras only eat other snakes and monitor lizards.
Cobras apparently can drink the content of an egg from a container while mangrove snakes can swallow a whole egg, he said.
Malacca zoo director Mohd Nawayai Yasak concurred that king cobras do not eat eggs.
Dr Lazarus speculated that the king cobra had sought refuge in the temple because of habitat loss.
It could also be a female looking for a safe place to lay eggs, he said.
The zoo directors were responding to the news story of a king cobra that appeared in the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in Puchong on Monday, remaining there for three days.
Thousands of devotees brought milk and eggs to the 123-year-old temple as offering to the 5m albino-like king cobra, which coiled itself around the statue of the deity Amman on the main altar.
The temple counted about 3,000 eggs and 4,000 bottles of milk over the past few days.
The temples caretaker, who only wanted to be known as Vellu, said the eggs would be left for 14 days as offerings before they are discarded.
We will use the milk to bathe the deity, said the caretaker of the temple for 40 years.
Malaysian Hindu Sangam president Datuk A. Vaithilingam said Hindu temples did not usually accept eggs as offering.
But when the snake appeared, devotees brought eggs without knowing that king cobras do not eat eggs, he said.