ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando residents are still on high alert Thursday after a king cobra slithered its way out of its cage Wednesday.
The snake’s owner, Mike Kennedy, described it as male and 8 feet long – not as big as king cobras go but, still, a very venomous visitor to central Florida. The snake is green and white and is probably hunting for other snakes, lizards or small mammals.
Kennedy said the snake escaped from its cage because of weather-related events.
After a series of storms, a limb fell on Kennedy’s house, where the snake’s cage is located. The ensuing flooding, then, allowed the snake to escape.
Currently, 10 people are searching the 10-acre property where the king cobra went missing, including a Kennedy team and one from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. They’re all experienced snake handlers, according to the FWC.
An FWC biologist is assisting in the capture plan, and officers are patrolling a nearby elementary school.
Kennedy was especially upset by the snake escape.
“It’s horrible that this has happened,” he said. “It has been incredibly traumatic for me and my family.”
Kennedy said the situation is his “worst nightmare.”
Kennedy is licensed to own the deadly snake and told authorities that his other venomous snakes, including a female king cobra, in the home are in their enclosures.
The missing snake slithered out within the past 24 hours, wildlife officials said Wednesday afternoon.
It probably won’t be easy to find either, as the area is densely wooded.
“All it wants to do is stay hidden,” he said.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission advise that, if you come across a snake, do not try to catch it.
According to National Geographic, king cobras are shy when it comes to humans but, if cornered, get riled up. And, a bite from one can kill an elephant.
Nevertheless, Kennedy points out that it’s unlikely anyone will get bitten.
“Getting struck by lightning is much more likely than being hurt by this animal,” he said.