Escaped king cobra on the loose
ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) — A king cobra has reportedly escaped from its owner in the Orlando area, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The escaped king cobra was reported Wednesday by its owner, who is a licensed and bonded to care for exotic animals, but the snake actually went missing Tuesday, officials said.
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The privately owned, non-native, venomous snake was reported to have escaped from its cage at a home in the 4800 block of North Apopka Vineland Road in Orlando.
"It wasn't deliberately let out from what we can see. Looks like it escaped its cage it was in," said Capt. Chris Roszkowiak of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The snake is approximately 8 feet and is green and yellow. A permit is required to possess a king cobra and owners are required to report escaped animals immediately.
The owner, Mike Kennedy, is an exotic animal dealer and star of the Discovery Channel reality show "Airplane Repo." Officials said he could face criminal penalties for not telling authorities about the escape immediately.
Officials believe the snake is likely to stay close to home in a densely wooded area. Neighbors are especially wary.
"I'm going to go load my guns. Well, they're already loaded, but I'm going to have them ready for sure. I mean, that thing's big enough to take you down for sure," said James McLeod, who lives nearby.
Officials said Kennedy is a licensed and professional snake hunter.
FWC officers and staff are currently searching the area for the snake. If members of the public come across this snake, it is advised that they do not handle it and instead report the sighting to the FWC's Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922).
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