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Officials searching for cobra that escaped from Florida home

By Daniel Uria

March 14 (UPI) -- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are searching for a cobra that escaped from a local home.

The FWC shared a photo of the suphan cobra along with a press release warning residents of the ongoing search for the snake in Ocala.

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"Monday evening at about 11:15 p.m., Venomous Reptile Permit (VRC) licensee Brian Purdy contacted the FWC to inform investigators that his 24-inch long cobra had escaped its enclosure at about 9 p.m. that evening," the press release stated. "After an initial search, nearby residents were notified of the escape."

Purdy told police another man was shadowing him in order to obtain his own venomous reptile permit and accidentally let the cobra out while Purdy was at work.

He was searching for the cobra in its container when he lifted off the lid, allowing the snake to spring toward him and slither away.

Purdy and the man were unable to find the cobra after searching for an hour and half, but did find one of his large lizards with an engorged stomach.

The men took the lizard to a veterinarian to determine if it had eaten the cobra, but the results of the x-rays and other tests were inconclusive.

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Residents were alerted about the loose snake and encouraged to contact the FWC if they happened to spot it in the area.

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