A ZEBRA cobra is on the loose in Raleigh, California after it escaped from a residential home.
The 5ft long snake sparked panic after vanishing on Tuesday evening, and Police have since roped off the area of concern.
What is a zebra cobra?
A zebra cobra, also known as a Naja nigricincta, is a species of spitting cobra that originates from regions of Southern Africa.
The black-and-brown snake is identified by its light, vertical stripes.
Growing up to 5 feet, it is largely nocturnal, and is often found while crossing roads at night.
It’s primary form of defense is spiting.
How dangerous are zebra cobras?
According to the African Snake Bite Institution, Zebra Cobras are “very dangerous.”
Venom from the snake can potentially cause pain, swelling, blistering and tissue damage.
The snake can spit venom from as far away as 9 feet.
The institute added that, while the snake is usually “shy,” it’s known to spit quickly if threatened or cornered.
Can zebra cobras kill?
Despite the fact that zebra cobras are considered “very dangerous,” the African Snake Bite Institution reports that fatalities are “not common.”
According to a 2013 study, it is estimated that 7,000–8,000 people per year receive venomous snake bites in the United States,
However, only five of those people die.
Has the zebra cobra on the loose in Raleigh been found?
Local media reports that the snake is still on the loose.
The slippery serpent was last spotted on a porch on Sandringham Drive in Northwest Raleigh, according to a warning issued by Police on Tuesday evening.
“Upon the officer’s arrival, the snake was not located,” the release said.
The authorities also urged people to not approach the snake and to call 911 immediately.
Wral reports that neighbors are now avoiding going in their gardens and their pools amid concerns about the safety of themselves, their children and their pets.
“It is pretty alarming. It seems like a pretty dangerous snake, and dogs like to sniff in the grass and check things out,” one resident told the outlet.
Mark Pavlic, who lives in the Brittany Woods neighbourhood, added: “It’s an extreme worry.”
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How did the zebra cobra in Raleigh escape?
The dangerous snake is believed to have been a pet of a resident in the area, although the circumstances of its escape is unknown.
Currently, under state law, owning a venomous snake is not illegal as long as the owner keeps the reptile in an escape-proof and bite-proof enclosure labeled “Venomous Reptile Inside.”
This enclosure must display the snakes scientific name, common name, appropriate antivenin, an escape recovery plan and the location of suitable antivenin and first aid.
“In the event of an escape of a venomous reptile, the owner or possessor of the venomous reptile shall immediately notify local law enforcement,” the law states.