Venomous spitting cobra loose in North Carolina neighborhood, police warn

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Police are warning residents of a neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, that there’s a highly venomous snake on the loose there.

A zebra cobra, known to spit venom, was spotted on the porch of a home around 5:10 p.m. Monday, police warned in a statement Tuesday.

An animal control officer responded to the home after receiving a report regarding the snake, but the cobra was not found.

According to authorities, the zebra cobra belongs to a resident of the neighborhood.

Police said Tuesday morning that the cobra remains on the loose and could spit and bite if cornered.

North Carolina does allow people to own venomous snakes. Under Article 55, all owners need is a secure enclosure with a number of state-mandated different labels. State law also requires an escape recovery plan.

It shall be unlawful for any person to own, possess, use, transport, or traffic in any venomous reptile that is not housed in a sturdy and secure enclosure. Enclosures shall be designed to be escape-proof, bite-proof, and have an operable lock.

North Carolina state law G.S. 14-417

Individual counties are allowed to put bans in place for venomous snakes, but Wake County, where Raleigh resides, doesn’t have one.

Police did not say if the owner of the snake would face any charges related to the snake’s ownership or its escape.

A North Carolina expert says the snake will likely stay within a half-mile of the home it escaped from, but it’s almost unlikely to be found.

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