Albino Cobra Continues Its Suburban Reign Of Terror
The search continues for the dog-biting albino cobra that's been on the loose in Thousand Oaks. The snake in question is an albino monocled cobra, a potentially deadly reptile that is actually illegal to own. There is an exemption if the snake is being used for education or science, but the owner would have to have a permit, ABC reports.
The snake's reign of terror began when he bit Kiko, an adorable Whippet, on Monday. Kiko's owner reported the snake incident on Tuesday, and the snake was again spotted on Wednesday. Kiko is okay, but the assailant is still at large—though one should keep in mind that the snake is probably just hiding and a little freaked out by all this excitement with no intention of terrorizing the neighborhood.
The monocled cobra is not so common in Thousand Oaks, but can be found in Southeast Asia, India and China. Generally, a monocled cobra will have a design of a ring on the back of its hood—hence the 'monocled' part of its name. This particularly cobra, however, is albino and is all white.
It is believed that the animal was probably someone's pet, as it would probably not have survived in the wild on its own. Because the snake is illegal to own, it's possible that's why the snake's owner hasn't come forward. It's also not known whether or not the cobra has had its venomous glands removed, but according to a release from L.A. County, Animal Control officers are working under the assumption that the snake is venomous. And you should, too. While the snake isn't aggressive, it will defend itself. If a person is bitten, there is an antivenom available via the San Diego Zoo. Residents should keep their doors closed to prevent the snake from letting itself in, and keep dogs and children away from animal burrows and other places a snake might hide. If spotted, authorities say you should not attempt to trap it, kill it or even approach it. You should instead just call 9-1-1.
Update, 3:30 p.m.: The cobra has been captured, according to Animal Control. While the owner is still unknown, one possible theory is that the snake belongs to a nearby business that rents out exotic animals for film and photo shoots, CBS reports.