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Escaped cobra

Alert! Deadly COBRA escapes in Ocala ‘burb

A deadly pet Cobra is on the loose in Florida after it escaped from its owner’s house late Monday night.

Brian Purdy reported his suphan Cobra missing at 11:15 p.m. Monday night from his home in Ocala, Florida. The two-foot-long cobra is reportedly one of the deadliest snakes native to Thailand. Purdy said that the cobra escaped around 9 p.m. that night, according to the Ocala Star Banner.

Purdy, who has a venomous reptile permit, was training another man to handle poisonous snakes and reptiles, because the man wanted to get his license. While Purdy was at work, the man, not seeing the cobra in its container, tried to get the snake to move around. He eventually decided to shield himself and open the cover of the container. When he did, the snake jumped out at him and slithered off. After making sure the room was sealed, the man called Purdy to alert him to the situation.

The report read that a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) captive wildlife investigator arrived along with officials with the Ocala Police Department and Marion County Fire Rescue at Purdy’s residence Monday night.

Officials with the FWC said that the trainee should not have been in the sealed room without Purdy present.

Purdy received his venomous reptile permit in May 2016. He has owned the cobra for about one and a half years, and owns three exotic vipers and two venomous lizards as well.

The reptile owner said that he would have one of his lizard’s stomach x-rayed because he believed that the lizard could have eaten the snake. Purdy later told reporters that the results her “were inconclusive.”

CNN reports that the FWC requires reptile rooms to be “escape-proof,” and that the agency will be looking into whether or not any regulations had been violated.

A Twitter account was created to help find the venomous tan-and-yellow monocled cobra. @OcalaCobra’s bio reads, “Hi, I’m a two-foot long monocled cobra and I just escaped captivity. I’m free for the first time in my life & I just found this iPhone, so why not tweet?”

The joke account is helping to get the word out to Ocala residents about the missing snake.

Robert Klepper, spokesman for the law enforcement division of the FWC says, however, that it’s important for people to understand how deadly this snake is.

“Public safety is the number one concern. We wanted to emphasize that this is a venomous snake and a dangerous animal and should not be approached.”

If you see the snake, do not approach it. Instead, call the state wildlife agency at 1-888-404-3922, then maybe send a tweet.

[Feature Photo: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]