RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Several neighbors in that Northwest Raleigh community where the zebra cobra escaped reached out to CBS 17. They’re concerned that they didn’t know a venomous snake was living so close by. Under state law, that’s legal. But that could soon change in Raleigh.
City Councilman David Knight represents the area and said he’s working with the city attorney on an ordinance regarding dangerous animals.
James Sherrod’s backyard butts up to the Chamonix Road property that zebra cobra escaped from.
“I’m very alarmed and very concerned… I have a little two-year-old granddaughter that was playing around in my backyard sometimes and it never even dawned on me in the least, not ever that there was a situation where there could be poisonous snakes in the community,” Sherrod said.
“Killing over 25 pigeons, viciously,” Mohamed Aboushadi said.
Aboushadi said something got into his coop back in January and killed some of his beloved birds. He wonders if it could have been the snake.
Experts said it’s unlikely but not impossible.
Raleigh Police haven’t said when the cobra got out or even, if the owner reported it missing.
Animal Control has removed the other exotic venomous snakes from the property. These are photos of the backyard.
“It’s terrible that we didn’t know about it but now that we know about it, something needs to be done about it,” Sherrod said.
Under state law, venomous reptiles must be kept in an enclosure, it has to be escape-proof, bite-proof, and have a lock. It must also be clearly and visibly labeled. Law enforcement must be notified of an escape.
“I know, I seems a little backwards,” Dr. Greg Lewbert with N.C. State’s College of Veterinary Medicine said.
They don’t treat venomous snakes to discourage people from owning them.
Raleigh City Councilman David Knight said neighbors should be alerted to dangerous animals living in their community.
“I’m working with the city attorney’s office to look at our authority and jurisdiction over this issue and see the extent of what we can do,” Knight said.
Knight said they’re researching the issue and will hopefully have an ordinance together by August. He supports having an owner pay for the search should their dangerous animal escape.
CBS 17 also spoke with the Wake County District Attorney who said it’s too early to know if charges will be filed in the case.