You won’t be seeing many people outside today in one North Carolina neighborhood. Police in Raleigh, NC have issued a warning about a venomous cobra that is loose in a neighborhood. The alert was issued at 1:30 am Tuesday morning. The snake, which was last spotted on a porch in the Brittany Woods neighborhood around 5 pm Monday, is a zebra cobra. Zebra cobras are highly venomous and are known to actually spit venom. An animal control officer was sent to the home but was unable to locate the snake. They worry that if cornered the snake will attack. Zebra cobras are very dangerous and a bite could cause tissue damage or even be fatal.

Where did the snake come from? It was actually a neighbor’s pet. The snakes are not native to this part of the world, instead, they live in Africa. While it is legal to own venomous snakes there are regulations in place. Any intentional or negligent behavior exposing the public to the dangers of the animals is considered a “public nuisance” which is a criminal offense. In addition, per North Carolina state law, it is “unlawful for any person to own, possess, use, transport, or traffic in any venomous reptile that is not housed in a sturdy and secure enclosure.”

It is unknown whether Raleigh area hospitals have the antivenom for a bite. However, one rule for owning this type of pet is knowing where anti-venom is available. Anyone who sees the black and white striped snake is asked to call 911 immediately.

Would you be comfortable knowing your neighbors had a dangerous snake living in their house? Do you think the owner should be punished for letting a venomous cobra get loose in a neighborhood?

Read more about the legality of these types of pets here.