OCALA - FLA -The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has confirmed that search efforts are underway for a missing suphan cobra in the vicinity of the 900 block of NE Ninth Street in Ocala.
Residents in the area are urged to use caution until this snake has been captured. Although reclusive by nature, cobras are highly venomous and will strike out if they feel threatened. The snake is about 2 feet in length, with distinctive multicolor markings. If anyone sees this snake, they should remain at a safe distance and immediately call the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922 (FWCC) or *FWC or #FWC on cellphones. Members of the public should not approach or attempt to capture this snake. The FWC is investigating this incident.
Monday evening at about 11:15 p.m., Venomous Reptile Permit (VRC) licensee Brian Purdy contacted the FWC to inform investigators that his 24-inch long cobra had escaped its enclosure at about 9 p.m. that evening. An FWC captive wildlife investigator responded to the licensee’s house where the snake was kept, and Ocala Police Department and Marion County Fire Rescue also responded. After an initial search, nearby residents were notified of the escape. Canvassing efforts to inform area residents are ongoing. All of Mr. Purdy’s other remaining reptiles in inventory are accounted for and secure.