You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myStatesman.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myStatesman.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myStatesman.com.

Pet cobras: What it takes to own a venomous reptile in Florida


The owner of a venomous cobra that escaped Monday night from an enclosure in Ocala, Florida, has all the proper licensing required to own dangerous reptiles.

Brian Purdy is one of the more than 280 people in Florida who are licensed to own the dangerous animals.

A cobra's bite, if not treated, can kill a victim within an hour.

>> Read more trending stories

A snake handler at Reptile World in St. Cloud told WFTV that she has worked with hundreds of cobras at a time for 20 years, and she's never been bitten.

She said the snakes are typically shy, tend to hide from people and only strike if threatened.

We're at Reptile World in St. Cloud getting a look at 1 of 100 Cobras on site. Crews still searching for a missing Cobra in Ocala. @WFTV pic.twitter.com/WtbwSL5lfD

— Lauren Seabrook (@LSeabrookWFTV) March 14, 2017

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said that the process a person must go through in order to own a venomous reptile is rigorous.

Owners must complete at least 1,000 hours of experience with venomous reptiles and provide two reference letters from license holders.

>> Related: 'Extremely venomous' cobra escapes from Florida home, police say

They also have to develop a bite plan and a disaster plan in case the reptile escapes.

Officials with FWC said Purdy owns a license for the missing cobra. He also has licenses for a gaboon viper and an African bush viper.

Here's a look at the 24" Cobra that escaped its enclosure last night around 9pm in Ocala. @WFTV pic.twitter.com/svCOxH3ZRV

— Lauren Seabrook (@LSeabrookWFTV) March 14, 2017

Records show that he has a clean inspection history by the state, which requires two levels of captivity.

The snakes must be kept in some kind of enclosure, and that cage or crate must then be contained inside an escape-proof room or outbuilding.

Purdy's last inspection was in December. 

A king cobra escaped from Mike Kennedy's Orlando home in September 2015, and was captured about a month later when a woman found the snake underneath her dryer.

Kennedy's trial is set to start Wednesday. He's facing three misdemeanor charges for the cobra's escape.

Since then, the state added enclosure requirements, more regulations on handling venomous reptiles and restrictions for facilities that refuse inspections.

Officials with FWC do annual inspections for reptile owners.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

School burglar caught with his pants down
School burglar caught with his pants down

One man will likely think twice about his plans for the day before putting on a pair of baggy pants. Things didn’t work out so well for the unidentified man who tried to climb over a fence Friday after allegedly attempting to break into some classrooms at Miles-Exploratory Learning Center in Tucson, Arizona, according to KOLD. According...
United Airlines kicks two girls off flight for wearing leggings
United Airlines kicks two girls off flight for wearing leggings

United Airlines agents forbade two teenage girls from boarding a flight to Minneapolis because they were wearing leggings, according to witnesses and The Washington Post. A third girl would have been kept off the plane as well, but she put a dress on over her leggings and was then allowed to board. The three teens were traveling on a...
Gator eats golfer’s ball on Florida course
Gator eats golfer’s ball on Florida course

Gator sightings on Florida golf courses are fairly common for most residents, but one golfer didn’t intend on his golf ball becoming a snack for one. Daniel McNamara caught the alligator eating his golf ball Saturday, news partner WPTV Channel 5 reports. McNamara told WPTV he was on his third hole at Long Marsh Golf Course in Rotonda West...
Rising tide of white nationalism evident in Georgia
Rising tide of white nationalism evident in Georgia

One example of a rising tide of white nationalism shambled into a federal district courtroom in Gainesville Wednesday. William Christopher Gibbs wore shackles, orange Crocs and a dirty, mustard-yellow jumpsuit with the word “INMATE” stenciled on back. He had an unruly shock of curly blond hair and an unshaven look that gave cover to an...
Cincinnati nightclub shooting: What we know now
Cincinnati nightclub shooting: What we know now

One person was killed and 15 injured, at least two critically, when gunfire erupted early Sunday morning at a hip-hop nightclub in Cincinnati,Ohio. Police are searching for multiple shooters, and have not made any arrests, yet. >> Read more trending news The man who was killed at the Cameo Night Club has been identified as 27-year-old Obryan...
More Stories