LOS ANGELES – A deadly cobra that mysteriously appeared in a Southern California neighborhood was taken to the Los Angeles Zoo after being spotted and tracked to a backyard woodpile where animal-control officers captured it.
The snake, which is several feet long, was in quarantine, zoo officials said Friday.
The albino monocled cobra had been on the loose since at least Monday evening, when it confronted a dog in Thousand Oaks. The veterinarian who treated the animal said it appeared that the dog wasn’t bitten but was hurt while evading the snake.
The cobra apparently escaped from captivity, although authorities have not found the owner. Los Angeles County spokesman Brandon Dowling said investigators were following leads on where the snake came from.
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Television reports showed officers using a long-handled tonglike grabber to haul the snake from a pile of scrap lumber in a backyard and put it in a long wooden box. It was taken to an animal shelter and then to the zoo.
The venom of the cobra is a neurotoxin that can kill within an hour. However, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the snake still had its venom glands, authorities said.
The snake became a mini-media sensation, and at least three Twitter accounts were started in its name. One, AlbinoMonocledCobra, had nearly 250 followers by Thursday afternoon.
After the capture, AlbinoMonocledCobra tweeted: “It’s over, folks. #SendBail$$$.”
Cobras are illegal to own in California except for educational and scientific purposes, and a permit is required.