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NC Press: Cobra eludes capture

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Posted by: W von Papinešu at Fri May 23 09:13:23 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papinešu ]  
   

DAILY NEWS (Jacksonville, N Carolina) 23 May 08 Cobra eludes capture (Amanda Hickey)
A wildlife rescue group and Animal Control officers were unsuccessful Thursday in capturing what they believe to be a monocled cobra in the Stables of Horse Creek Farms subdivision.
A woman living in a Winner's Circle townhouse made a 911 call about a snake that came out from under porch and went toward her dog.
"The snake came up from under the porch and went toward her puppy," Jen Grooms, founder and director of HERP Wildlife Rescue, said Thursday night.
"She grabbed her puppy and then it charged her," said Jen Grooms, director of HERP Wildlife Rescue, which responded to the scene along with Onslow County Animal Control, Onslow County Emergency Medical Services and the Piney Green Volunteer Fire Department.
Grooms, who said the snake went back under the porch after charging the woman, identified the snake by peeking under the porch. When she looked, the snake showed it's hood, which had a round circle on it - the sign of a monocled cobra, which is indigenous to Southeast Asia.
With permission from the property manager, those on the scene dismantled the front porch in an effort to capture the snake, said Animal Control Director Dino Einsig. However, the snake was not there.
"We searched for the snake and turned up nothing, so we secured," Einsig said, adding that the snake was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Both Grooms and Einsig believe the snake went into the woods.
"These are very fast and agile snakes, and somewhere in the ruckus it got past us," Grooms said.
The woods, however, were searched.
"We did a thorough sweep and search ... but when an animal goes into hiding, it's like trying to find a needle in a haystack," Grooms said.
While it is uncertain where the snake came from, the resident who called about the snake recalled receiving a flier about a missing cobra about a week or two ago, Einsig said.
"She didn't think anything of it and threw it away," said Einsig, who asked that if anyone else has a copy of the flier to call Onslow County Animal Control at 910-455-0182.
Monocled cobras can grow to six and a half feet and are nocturnal, according to the National Geographic Web site. They eat other snakes and lizards, are venomous and not legal to own in Onslow County without a license as well as state and federal permits, Einsig said.
If the snake's owner is determined, it is possible for them to be charged, Grooms said. The owner could be charged with illegal possession of a venomous snake, endangering the community or attempted murder should the snake bite someone.
This is not the only call about a venomous snake Groom has received lately. There were more than 15 snake calls in the last three days, she said, and three of them were for venomous snakes. In one case, a German shepherd on Dawson Cabin Road was bitten by a copperhead.
Grooms said people should not panic, but they should wear shoes when going outside and keep an eye on children that are playing outside.
"Do the normal things responsible people do," she said.
Cobra eludes capture


   

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