Search continues for escaped venomous cobra in Ocala
OCALA, Fla.-- It's day two of the snake search, and still no sight of the venomous cobra that escaped its enclosure Monday night.
And with the growing concern, neighbors in the Ocala area say the snake needs to be found immediately.
“We still have to be careful because it could be anywhere."
Neighbors living on Northeast 5th street in Ocala say they're sleeping with one eye open.
Brandon Lacey said," The snake is looking for some place warm to go. So as soon as he feels that heat that's where he's going to go. So I have to lift up the couch, lift up the beds, look behind the bushes and make sure my dogs are safe and my kids, my kids foremost."
Wildlife crews began searching Brian Purdy's home again Wednesday morning. They called in snake experts from around the state to help find the venomous cobra.
FWC officials say the snake could still be inside of the home due to the cold temperatures outside, or that it may have been eaten by one of the other reptiles Purdy owns.
Greg Workman said, "We're not ruling anything out at this time. That's something that we're looking into and we don't have anything that we can report on just yet, but it's in our investigative packet and part of our ongoing search, but that’s something that we're looking at."
Neighbors say with the possibility of the venomous snake biting someone, Purdy's apprentice who opened the cobra's cage should face charges.
Anti-venom expert Jeffery Fobb from Miami Dade Fire Rescue assures me that a protocol is in place in case someone is bitten.
"The good thing is we're located on an air field and there is an air field next to the nearest hospital to the incident in Ocala. So a fixed winged aircraft can fly the medicine up there. We already have it packaged and ready to go in case there is an emergency."
Fobb says Miami Dade Fire Rescue is the closest facility that houses the anti-venom. And the flight to transport the medicine from Miami Dade to Ocala takes less than two hours.
Florida Fish and Wildlife officials are asking anyone that sees the cobra not to touch it, and to call 911 immediately.
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