The missing Orlando king cobra was found alive more than a month after it went missing. The eight-foot-long snake was owned by a reality TV show personality. One of the most deadly venomous snakes in the world was found in a garage under a clothes dryer not far from the home of its owner, Mark Kennedy.
Orange County, Florida, animal control officials were contacted by the homeowner where the King Cobra was found on Wednesday night. The woman became concerned when she heard “hissing sounds” while putting a load of laundry into the dryer, Fox News reports. It took the hard work of three animal services officers to capture the viper, DbTechno reports. The animal control staffers used special tongs to get a hold of the cobra. The snake was too large to be placed inside of the crates typically used to transport snakes, so Elvis, as he is known to his owners, was placed inside a cat cage.
Mike Kennedy stars in the reality TV show Airplane Repo. His wife, Valerie Kennedy, said the cobra “was found last night at 11 p.m. The poor thing was in pretty bad shape. His eyes are fogged over. He hasn’t eaten a thing since he was captured.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) October 9, 2015
The couple had been searching for the King Cobra since they discovered it missing on September 2 after returning home from a trip.
“We are so relieved. This has been so difficult to go through as a family, and it has really taken a toll,” Valeria Kennedy added.
The Orlando snake was found approximately a half a mile from the Dragon Ranch Sanctuary, which is owned by Mike Kennedy and his family. The King Cobra is believed to have escaped after a later summer storm damaged its enclosure. Due to the deadly nature of the sometimes aggressive snake, students at a local elementary school have been kept inside during recess and outdoor activities were cancelled in the days following the missing snake report.
— HuffPost Weird News (@HuffPostWeird) October 8, 2015
Mike Kennedy told local reporters that the cobra would have been in trouble if it had not been found before the late fall or early winter months.
“Winter comes along and they die. I’m not going to say it’s a 100 percent, nothing is 100 percent, but chances are he can’t survive if he doesn’t turn up,” Kennedy said.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Mike Kennedy graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in zoology. The Dragon Ranch Sanctuary website states that he dreamed of earning a living working with animals, but ultimately embarked upon a career in aviation like his father. Still harboring a love for animals, he utilized the lessons he learned while earning his degree to care for animals and exotic pets in need.
The Dragon Ranch Sanctuary is one of the only private facilities in the state of Florida authorized to rescue and rehabilitate the America Crocodile. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officials noted that Kennedy is licensed to possess exotic animals and was following all required guidelines when reporting the King Cobra had gone missing. Kennedy could still face a stiff fine for losing the deadly venomous snake.
King cobras can grow up to 18 feet in length. A single bite from the viper snake contains enough venom to kill one elephant – or 20 people. The cobra does not retract its teeth but sinks them into the skin until its prey stops struggling.
What do you think about exotic pets being kept at private sanctuaries?
[Image via Shutterstock.com]