Cobra Snake Still Loose In Ocala

March 15, 2017

© Isselee | Dreamstime

Besides alligators, sharks and Zika, Ocala residents are now urged to be on the lookout for an escaped suphan cobra.  According to the Marion County Sheriff's office, owner Brian Purdy, who has a license to keep the deadly snake, reported his 2ft long cobra snake missing as of 11:15pm Monday (3/13) night in the 900 block of NE Ninth Street. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Ocala police, Marion County Fire Rescue and the Marion County Sheriff's Office are all searching for the missing cobra, whose venom spreads rapidly though the blood stream causing respiratory failure and, eventually, death within 30 minutes unless anti-venom is injected.  For this reason, residents within a 5 mile radius of the 900 block of NE Ninth Street are urged to stay indoors along with pets and livestock and to be alert for the cobra. If you spot it, call FWC at 888-404-3922 or *FWC from your phone or 911.  as of 3am Wednesday (3/15/17) the snake is till loose and with colder weather moving in, be aware of the snake finding warm area to stay, such as a car motor, garage, shed or porch. According to reports, Purdy, who has a Venomous Reptile Permit was being shadowed by another man attempting to obtain the same license when the trainee didn’t see the snake in the cage, opened it to try and summoned it and the snake, which lunged towards him and slithered out of the cage.  It is possible a lizard in the home ate the small snake.  The lizard is being x-rayed to see if it indeed ate the snake. Purdy was not at home at the time of the incident.  Obtaining a Venomous Reptile Permit from the state requires 1,000 hours of training and up to a year before being issued. According to FWC's website, there are 3 venomous reptile permits issued in Marion County, 3 in Citrus County, 1 in Levy County and 8 in Alachua County (6 in Gainesville area).

Although there are some who are taking the opportunity to lighten the mood with OcalaCobra popping up on social media:

SOURCE: WFTV-TV and WTSP-TV

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