Escaped cobra found coiled by a home in Buckingham

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BUCKINGHAM, Fla. – Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officials have located a missing Asian monocled cobra in Buckingham.

Officials caught the cobra around 4 p.m. Saturday and planned to hold it until the investigation was complete.

FWC officers searched in the area of Stratton Road and Kitty Hawk Drive, in the northwest section of the community right next to Buckingham most of Saturday.

Witnesses told FWC they first reported seeing what appeared to be a cobra in the area on Friday around 2 p.m.

Amy Redford said she was scared for the safety of her kids when she heard the news.

“Anything can happen, I have a 5-year-old that’s not terrified of anything and if he was to see it he would probably walk up to it and try to grab it.”

Wildlife officials confirmed with the owner of the cobra, Lewis Pellicer, that the snake had escaped. All of Pellicer’s other remaining reptiles are accounted for. He did have the proper permits to own the snake.

Redford lives in the home next to Pellicer’s, but said she wasn’t aware he owned venemous snakes.

“I was shocked, I had no clue that they had any snakes of any kind over there. It’s frightening because of the kids.”

Two FWC officers responded to a call from a house on Kitty Hawk drive, and were able to capture the snake alive. The son of the man who spotted the snake said someone in the neighborhood saw the cobra cross the street and go into their yard.

“I was hoping it wouldn’t because I knew it was close so I was like, ‘anywhere but the yard is fine,’ but right next to the house–good to know,” Dylan Deriso explained.

Reptile expert Greg Graziani says he never expected to find and trap the snake so soon.

“We probably need to go buy a lottery ticket or something because the luck we had by actually finding this snake, it was huge.”

FWC says they are happy the community can sleep easy tonight. They plan to keep the snake in their custody until the investigation is over. It is not yet clear whether Pellicer will face charges, but FWC says he did not report the snake missing, which is a violation of his permit.

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