You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

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


Welcome to

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

Search for escaped cobra continues in Florida

The search continued Wednesday for a suphan cobra that escaped its enclosure in an Ocala, Florida, home on Monday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

>> Read more trending stories

Brian Purdy reported at about 11:15 p.m. Monday that the 2-foot venomous snake slithered out of its enclosure at about 9 p.m. at his home on Northeast Ninth Street, FWC spokesman Rob Klepper said.

Purdy told investigators that his apprentice, who was learning how to handle venomous snakes, was watching the reptile when it escaped.

Purdy, a licensed owner of multiple venomous reptiles, told WFTV on Tuesday that he believes a large lizard in the home might have eaten the cobra, because its stomach appears enlarged.

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

The lizard's stomach will be X-rayed and scoped, but wildlife officials aren't taking any chances. They urged residents to use caution until the snake is captured.

Despite their reclusive nature, FWC said cobras will strike if they feel threatened.

"The snake is not going to like the cold weather," said Greg Workman, an FWC spokesman. "Chances are it's going to stay in a warm climate where the temperatures are going to be conducive to what he or she likes."

Officers have searched around the home from which the snake escaped as well as several nearby homes, using snake hooks to make sure the cobra isn't hiding in any bushes.

Roderick Gillock, who lives in the neighborhood, said he's watching his every step.

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

"I'm concerned about this, because this is scary," he said. "You don't know if there's a snake around here. This is dangerous."

Neighbor Brandon Lacey said only the snake's capture will ease his nerves.

"(I've) been up since 3-something this morning. (I'm) scared and don't know what to do," he said. "If I get bit, that's it. I'm 35 years old. I want to see many more years to come."

A king cobra escaped from Mike Kennedy's home near Ocoee in September 2015. It was captured about a month later when a woman found the snake behind a dryer in her garage.

Kennedy was previously accused of improperly housing the snake and waiting 24 hours to report the escape. He appeared in court Wednesday morning.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Nation & World

Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers
Selfies could be causing more cases of lice in teenagers

Many experts say head lice infestations are at their peak during this time of the year as kids head off to summer camp. A Jacksonville, Florida, woman who owns a lice treatment center said it's most common with young children, but she's also seen an increase in cases of head lice in teens. Mandy Ottesen owns Fresh Heads. She said it’s very important...
2 teens investigated after painting over rainbow crosswalk
2 teens investigated after painting over rainbow crosswalk

The community of Medfield, Massachusetts, is coming together after an act of vandalism. A rainbow-colored crosswalk at the high school will need to be repainted after two teens defaced it Wednesday night. Police said the teens then shared photos of the vandalism on Snapchat. One picture showed one of the teens believed to be responsible for the vandalism...
Canadian special forces claim record 2-mile sniper kill shot
Canadian special forces claim record 2-mile sniper kill shot

An anonymous Canadian military source said one of their special forces snipers has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot at a distance of over 2 miles. The source told Toronto’s Globe and Mail that a member of the Canadian “Joint Task Force 2,” an elite special operation unit, made the shot last month...
Tornado flattens buildings near Birmingham, Alabama
Tornado flattens buildings near Birmingham, Alabama

A tornado damaged several businesses outside Birmingham, Alabama, onTuesday. Meteorologist Jason Holmes said buildings, including a liquor store and a fast-food restaurant, in the suburban community of Fairfield, west of the city, were reported damaged. Holmes also told The Associated Press that trees were down and buildings were reported damaged...
Homeless man killed saving teens from random attack, police say
Homeless man killed saving teens from random attack, police say

A homeless man was beaten to death on a Denver street last week when he came to the defense of two teenagers who were being attacked by another man, authorities said.  KDVR in Denver reported that the teens were attacked around 4 a.m. Friday. When officers arrived, they found the victims, one of whom had serious facial injuries.  The alleged...
More Stories