RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — A local news reporter spotted a venom-spitting snake that has been on the loose in a Raleigh neighborhood for more than a day.
Judith Retana, who reports for NewsNation affiliate WNCN, walked onto a porch at a home on Sandringham Drive and the zebra cobra was just feet from her.
“I swear I made eye contact with the snake,” Retana said.
She said she was going to knock on the door of a home in the area and saw the snake by her feet.
“I told the police officer that I thought I was seeing this snake up there — that classic black and white zebra look,” Retana said.
A bite or venom from the zebra cobra can cause serious medical issues even death.
Animal Control officers at the scene were equipped with face shields and gloves in anticipation of capturing the cobra.
A person called 911 Monday to report seeing a snake just after 5 p.m. “I’m calling to report a snake,” the caller told the emergency dispatcher.
The caller then said they believe the snake is a python but they couldn’t locate it at the time of the call.
“It looks like it’s actually a python from Australia. We can’t locate it and we don’t know who to call to report an invasive species,” the caller said.
An animal control officer responded to the home after receiving a report regarding the snake, but the cobra was not found.
Raleigh police issued a statement at 1:30 a.m. Tuesday warning that a zebra cobra, which is known to spit venom, was spotted on the porch of a home.
Herpetologist Bryan Stuart with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences said the snake would likely stay within a half-mile of the home it escaped from. Still, it’s almost unlikely it’ll be found.
The zebra cobra snake is not native to North Carolina or even the United States. The only venomous snake native to Raleigh is the copperhead.
Venom from the snake can cause swelling, difficulty opening your eyes, or breathing. It’ll be a painful and swollen bite. However, the zebra cobra snake doesn’t have to bite you to be dangerous. It spits venom from its mouth.
The neighborhood is blocked off where Retana spotted the snake and Raleigh police and animal control officers could be seen walking around the area where the snake was last spotted.
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.