Florida Fish & Wildlife Patrol searching for missing venomous cobra in NE Ocala
OCALA, FLA.-- A two foot long venomous cobra is loose in Ocala. Wildlife workers are searching for the snake that escaped from its cage inside of a home Monday night.
The search has been going on in the area of northeast 5th street since 3a.m. Tuesday morning. And neighbors say their number one concern at this point is their safety.
“You know you got to be safe because if you get bite that’s your life."
Neighbors living on Northeast 9th Avenue in Ocala say they woken up Tuesday morning, when Ocala Police officers knocked at their doors.
Brandon Lacey said, "Police informed us around three forty a.m. knocking door to door letting us know that it is a deadly cobra that's out and if you get bit you're not going to make it."
Kurt Dotten said, “I was concerned to a point, but I know the neighbor; He’s a good person. And it's not like the owner isn’t trained, he has a reptile license so he knows what he’s doing.”
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials say around 11:15 Monday night, snake owner Brain Purdy called them to report his 24 inch long cobra had escaped its enclosure. Purdy has a venomous reptile permit license.
FWC investigators responded to the house and after hours of searching they had no success. They contacted OPD who then sent out this automated message to all residents in the area.
"Be aware that this snake is extremely venomous. It’s tan and black in color. Do not approach it. If you see this snake immediately call 911."
Tiffany Wheeler said," I literally found out ten minutes ago and I left work and come here. Like I said my dog is in the house and I have a doggy door so the ability for a snake to get in the house is high so I am a little worried."
OPD officers were told that Purdy's apprentice who is trying to get his license to handle poisonous and venomous animals was checking to see if the cobra was okay and lifted the top cover of the snake’s cage.
The snake then jumped towards the man, got out of the cage and slither away.
Chad Weber said, “We’re urging people that if you see the snake in the area to contact us and do not approach it. Right now it's a little cooler out so it's going to be a little more lethargic so we're hoping it's still in the general vicinity."
FWC patrol says they will continue searching for the snake tonight and if the cobra is not found they will start search efforts again Wednesday morning.
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