Last month we told you about a deadly monocle cobra that escaped from an enclosure in its owners home in Ocala, Florida. The two foot long snake quickly became the subject of a neighborhood search by police, animal control and concerned citizens. But the searches all ended without finding the snake.
Now, according to officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the snakes owner is facing charges of mishandling the deadly reptile which resulted in its escape from his home. In their statement, the Commission said Ian Nesmith is facing prosecution after letting the venomous cobra escape from a home on March 13, according to a local ABC News affiliate.
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 supposed 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.
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 moving the bowl, the snake came out from under it 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. Authorities said that the reptile has still not been found and remains on the run.