Out of all of the snakes out there, one resident in a Raleigh, NC neighborhood decided to keep a highly venomous zebra cobra as a pet. And then it escaped on Monday, and it's still on the loose.
On Monday at 5:30 pm someone in the community spotted the snake on a porch and called 9-1-1. "I'm calling to report a snake," the caller told police. At this point the snake had disappeared from its porch location. "It looks like it's actually a python from Australia. We can't locate it and we don't know who to call to report an invasive species."
Zebra cobras, which sometimes spit their venom, can cause "massive hemorrhaging, necrosis and paralysis," as well as permanent blindness.
According to the African Snakebite Institute, spitting cobras can "bite people and prey, and venom is easily injected." The nocturnal snakes found in Namibia and Angola are black to brown with light cross bars, and average 4 feet in length.
Under North Carolina state law, it is "unlawful for any person to own, possess, use, transport, or traffic in any venomous reptile that is not housed in a sturdy and secure enclosure."
Police did not say if the owner of the snake will face any charges.
If anyone spots the zebra cobra they are asked to stay away from the snake and call 911 immediately.