A man is facing charges after mishandling a 2-foot monocle cobra that led to its escape from his home in Ocala, Florida, a month ago. The snake hasn’t been found.
According to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Ian Nesmith is facing prosecution after letting the venomous cobra escape from a home on March 13, local ABC News station reported.
The Commission found Nesmith in violation of allowing wildlife animals to escape from a cage, leash or other constraints which could result in injury to a person. The cobra not only escaped the cage but also a snake-proof room, said the Commission.
Officials added that while the snake owner had a venomous reptile permit, when the cobra escaped the house, it was being handled by Nesmith, who was observing the snake’s owner so he could obtain a license to handle poisonous or venomous reptiles and snakes.
— Florida News (@FloridaNewsBit) April 19, 2017
The man told investigators that he wanted to check on the cobra but initially couldn’t see it in the cage. He opened the cage, placed a clear shield in front of him, and used a small hook to lift the water bowl.
As he was doing it, the snake came out from the water bowl and started moving towards the open cage. Nesmith said he freaked out, screamed and tried to move the snake back into the cage, but it escaped.
The fugitive cobra, native to Thailand, is highly venomous and could strike if threatened. It’s also considered to be one of the deadliest reptiles on the planet.
It’s still on the run and has not been found.