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Albino Cobra That Was Loose In Thousand Oaks Did Have Venom Glands Intact

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We’ve learned a few more things about that albino monacled cobra that was on the loose in Thousand Oaks this week, namely that it did have its potentially deadly venom glands intact.

After the snake was finally captured Thursday, further inspection at the Los Angeles Zoo showed the snake still could have given a potentially deadly bite, according to The Associated Press. While it was initially reported that a dog had been bitten by the snake and survived, spurring speculation that the snake had had its venomous glands removed, a veterinarian later said the dog was likely just injured while trying to run away from the snake.

Snake expert Ian Recchio of the Los Angeles Zoo said the snake was likely raised in captivity since its white color (caused by a condition called leucism, or a lack of pigment) would have made it easy prey for predators. He said the snake “looks pretty fat,” meaning it probably had been chowing down on rats and mice while on the loose.

Recchio said the snake was likely between 5 and 20 years old, as monacled cobras can live for two decades and grow up to five or six feet long. He said the zoo stopped short of trying to determine the snake’s sex because they don’t have the right antivenom.

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Cobras are illegal to own in California without a permit for scientific or educational purposes, but a black market exists for those looking for illegal, exotic pets such as whitey here. Authorities are looking for the cobra’s owner.

Rest easy, Angelenos—snakey’s been taken to the San Diego Zoo, where it will likely stay. Unlike the L.A. Zoo, the S.D. Zoo has antivenom for Asian cobras

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