Deadly Cobra Loose in Central Florida

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

If you see this snake, keep your distance. 

The search continues for a dangerous 2-foot-long cobra that went missing Monday evening from a home in Ocala, Florida.

The cobra's owner, Brian Purdy, contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to report the cobra's escape.

CBS News reports a man, who was shadowing Purdy in order to get a license to handle poisonous or venomous reptiles and snakes, accidentally let the snake escape from its enclosure while Purdy was at work. 

Police say he opened the cage's cover and the snake jumped at him and then slithered away. The man called Purdy who rushed home, but they couldn’t find the snake in the concealed room, so they called FWC.

Wildlife officials say the apprentice shouldn’t have been left alone in the sealed room.

“Residents in the area are urged to use caution until this snake has been captured,” the FWC said in a news release. “Although reclusive by nature, cobras are highly venomous and will strike out if they feel threatened.”

There were reports that a large lizard may have eaten the snake, but X-ray results are inconclusive.

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