A 5-foot cobra was captured more than 24 hours after escaping from its southwest Florida home. The venomous Asian monocoled snake was eventually captured 200 yards from where it was last sighted.
Officer Stuart Spoede, of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, expressed his surprise that the snake was recovered so quickly after it escaped. According to the News Press, the cobra was spotted by a man on Friday (6 November) around 2pm ET near Kitty Hawk Drive.
The FWD and volunteers searched the bush lining the street on Friday and Saturday afternoon, discovering the snake 200 yards west of its last location. "You try to find a snake in something like that," Spoede told reporters as he signaled the woods behind him. "It's almost impossible."
The News Press reported that the poisonous snake belongs to Lewis Mark Pellicer, who is a Venomous Reptile Permit holder. Pellicer told officials that his Asian monocled cobra was missing, but his other reptiles in his inventory were not missing. Spoede said the snake owner would face charges for not reporting the snake missing.
Before wildlife officials were able to capture the cobra, they warned residents to be on the lookout and to call FWD if they spotted anything. Eventually, volunteers found the snake close to where it had been spotted before. "It was curled up right next to the guy's house," Spoede said. "As soon as our guys showed up, it took off into the woods." They captured the snake before it escaped again.
This is not the first missing cobra in Florida. In September, a school in Orlando was forced to keep students inside as state wildlife officials searched for an 8-foot-long venomous king cobra. The cobra, which has enough venom to kill up to 20 people, was owned by Discovery Channel star Mike Kennedy. Like Pellicer, Kennedy faced criminal charges for failing to alert authorities about the missing king cobra immediately.