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Venom-spitting cobra on the loose after North Carolina escape

June 29 (UPI) -- Police in North Carolina are warning residents of a venom-spitting snake on the loose in the northwest part of Raleigh.

The Raleigh Police Department issued an alert about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday reporting that a zebra cobra, a highly venomous species of snake known to spit its venom, was spotted on the porch of a Sandringham Drive home about 5:10 p.m. Monday.

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An animal control officer responded to the sighting, but the snake had apparently fled the scene by the time they arrived.

Police said they determined the snake belonged to a neighborhood resident and had escaped from the home.

North Carolina state laws allow for the private ownership of venomous reptiles, but the laws impose strict guidelines, including keeping the animals in "escape-proof" enclosures and alerting law enforcement immediately if any escape does occur.

Zebra cobras are native to deserts and other dry areas in southern Africa.

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