RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – An unsure 911 caller said he thought they spotted a python in Raleigh on Monday and wanted to report an invasive species.
Raleigh police released a 911 call on Tuesday related to a venomous zebra cobra that is on the loose.
Raleigh police issued a statement at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday warning that a zebra cobra, which is known to spit venom, was spotted on the porch of a home in the 7000-block of Sandringham Drive around 5:10 p.m. Monday.
Sandringham Drive is in a neighborhood just northwest of the intersection of Leesville and Lynn roads.
“I’m calling to report a snake,” the caller told the emergency dispatcher.
The caller then said they believe the snake is a python but they couldn’t locate it at the time of the call.
“It looks like it’s actually a python from Australia. We can’t locate it and we don’t know who to call to report an invasive species,” the caller said.
An animal control officer responded to the home after receiving a report regarding the snake, but the cobra was not found.
According to authorities, the zebra cobra belongs to a resident of the neighborhood.
Police said Tuesday morning the cobra remains on the loose and could spit and bite if cornered.
“I gotta keep an eye on the dogs when I walk them. If you have animals that you keep as pets that aren’t safe for the community, be sure to keep track of them,” said resident Daniel Coleman.
“This is the first time ever this happened. I didn’t know anyone had a poisonous snake on this street. I’m really surprised,” added neighbor Al Lobo Raleigh.
In regards to ownership of venomous reptiles, North Carolina state law G.S. 14-417 states:
“It shall be 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. Enclosures shall be designed to be escape-proof, bite-proof, and have an operable lock.”
Dr. Charles Gerardo Chief of Emergency Medicine at Duke hospital said it is cause for some concern.
“It can be quite serious, including all the way up to death. It can cause tissue damage, blindness, and there are neurotoxins, so it can be quite serious,” Gerardo said.
Police did not say if the owner of the snake will face any charges related to owning the snake or having it escape.
If anyone spots the zebra cobra they are asked to stay away from the snake and call 911 immediately.