Cobra Escapes, Is on the Loose in Florida

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Officials told the Ocala Star Banner that a man shadowing Purdy in hopes of getting his poisonous reptile license was alone in Purdy's snake room Monday when the cobra escaped.

The snake's owner, Brian Purdy, holds a venomous reptile permit.

The lizard's stomach will be X-rayed and scoped, but wildlife officials aren't taking any chances.

Residents in the area are urged to use caution until the venomous snake has been captured. Cobras will strike if they feel threatened, so if it's seen, stay a safe distance away and call the FWC Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Permit holders are required to confine venomous animals to an escape-proof room, FWC spokesman Robert Klepper told CNN.

Roderick Gillock, who lives in the neighborhood, said he's watching his every step. "I hate waking up with cottonmouth", one tweet said.

"You're anxious about someone breaking in and robbing you and now you've got to worry about a snake if you step out going to work", neighbor Brandon Lacey said.

Members of the public should not approach or attempt to capture this snake.

"(I've) been up since 3-something this morning. "I'm surprised it was venomous", Britney Simpson said. "Like I said my dog is in the house and I have a doggy door so the ability for a snake to get in the house is high so I am a little anxious". "I want to see many more years to come".

In September 2015, an 8-foot king cobra named Elvis escaped from an Orlando home near an elementary school. It was recaptured after being on the loose for five weeks and was found hiding inside a home underneath a dryer.

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