U.S.

Florida Fish & Wildlife Patrol searching for missing venomous cobra in NE Ocala

Florida Fish & Wildlife Patrol searching for missing venomous cobra in NE Ocala

A central Florida neighborhood is on high alert after a man reported his two-foot suphan cobra missing on Monday night.

Ocala police said he opened the cover of the cage and the snake jumped at him and then slid away. After the owner and apprentice could not locate the snake, they called wildlife officials to help.

Ocala police, Marion County Fire Rescue and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are investigating.

Neighbors said many small children live in the neighborhood and are being kept inside.

Purdy told investigators that his apprentice, who was learning how to handle venomous snakes, was watching the reptile when it escaped.

So, how does one lose track of a 2-foot-long cobra? "I'm surprised it was venomous", Britney Simpson said.


Residents in the area have been notified about the missing snake and have been told use caution until the snake has been captured. We're not sure why no one can find it - judging from its social media presence, all FWC needs to do is ping where the posts are coming from.

The process to receive a venomous reptile permit is "rigorous", and the applicant must have documentation of 1,000 hours of experience for each venomous reptile they request, the FWC said. "And it's not like the owner isn't trained, he has a reptile license so he knows what he's doing".

She said the snakes are typically shy, tend to hide from people and only strike if threatened.

The tan-colored cobra is highly venomous.

Elvis' owner, Michael Kennedy, of the Discovery Channel program "Airplane Repo", surrendered custody of the snake in January.

Officials are telling anyone who spots the cobra to stay back and immediately call FWC's wildlife hotline at 888-404-3922.


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