Search Continues For Cobra Slithering Loose In Central Florida Neighborhood
The search continues for a sneaky snake that escaped its enclosure and could be slithering loose in an Ocala neighborhood.
The highly venomous 2-foot-long suphan monocled cobra got out of its cage Monday evening and hasn't been seen since.
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have remained outside the owner's home on Ninth Street Northeast just in case someone spots it. They've also been searching the area and alerting neighbors to use caution until its caught.
FWC said the snake's owner, Brian Purdy, is licensed to keep the deadly cobra, along with several other venomous reptiles that there were accounted for and secured.
Purdy called FWC at 11:15 p.m. Monday, about two hours after he discovered the snake had disappeared.
Officials told the Ocala Star Banner that a man shadowing Purdy in hopes of getting his poisonous reptile license was alone in Purdy's snake room Monday when the cobra escaped. The man couldn't see the snake in its enclosure, so after trying some tactics to get it to move, grabbed a shield and opened the cage, according to the Star Banner.
The cobra then lunged at the man and slithered away.
An FWC investigator told the Star Banner that it's possible the cobra could have been eaten by one of Purdy's other pets, a venomous lizard. The lizard had a larger-than-normal stomach, but officials said tests have been inconclusive.
Residents are being told not to go out looking for the snake, which is reclusive by nature but could strike out if it feels threatened.
Cobras are among the deadliest snakes in the world and have a neurotoxic venom strong enough to stop a person's breathing in just 30 minutes, according to research by the University of Michigan.
One bite can be fatal within an hour, if not properly treated.
Officials are telling anyone who spots the cobra to stay back and immediately call FWC's wildlife hotline at 888-404-3922.
Court records show the owner of an 8-foot-long king cobra that got loose near Orlando in September 2015 accepted a plea deal Wednesday to resolve charges related to the serpent's escape.
Michael Kennedy, who is the star of Discovery Channel's "Airplane Repo," pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of failing to properly secure the snake and was fined $4,000.
Kennedy's cobra, named Elvis, slithered around for nearly five weeks before a woman spotted it behind her washing machine in a garage a few hundred feet away from where it escaped.
Officials said Kennedy wanted to keep Elvis and several other venomous reptiles, but eventually agreed to transfer them to another license holder.
This article is written by Stephanie Allen from The Orlando Sentinel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.