The Raleigh Police Department has issued an official alert about the cobra zebra snake, which remains on the loose in North Carolina.

  • “At approximately 5:10 p.m. this evening, a Raleigh Police Department animal control officer responded to the 7000 block of Sandringham Drive in conjunction with a report of a live snake that was spotted on the porch of a resident’s property. Upon the officer’s arrival, the snake was not located,” the release said. 
This venomous snake is on the loose in North Carolina. Here’s how it happened

What is the cobra zebra snake?

The alert came after a suburb of Raleigh, North Carolina, went on high alert because one resident’s zebra cobra snake escaped captivity, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “That’s so scary and dangerous; it makes me feel like we need to take care of this situation and not let it happen again,” resident Vince Toscano told ABC-11.

The snake — called a cobra zebra — comes from Africa. It’s a shy snake, but it can be deadly when cornered, according to African Snake Bite Institute. It can even spit dangerous venom that can damage your skin tissue and kill you.

Is the cobra zebra legal?

The snake is legal to have, though, according to state law. In fact, the North Carolina law said that venomous snakes can be owned in North Carolina if the owner has the animal inside an “escape-proof and bite-proof enclosure” that is labeled with a sign that says  ”Venomous Reptile Inside,” according to Fox News.

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The label has to have the scientific name, the common name, the recovery plan, first aid and more information, too, according to Fox News.

“In the event of an escape of a venomous reptile, the owner or possessor of the venomous reptile shall immediately notify local law enforcement,” the law reads.