Raleigh residents no longer have to fear encountering an escaped cobra capable of blinding them with venom from nine feet away. An escaped spitting zebra cobra on the loose since Monday was captured in a home Wednesday night and was in state custody Thursday, the News & Observer reports. Police said the snake is being "cared for in an appropriate facility" and authorities had also secured "exotic venomous reptiles" that had been kept in a nearby residence. The zebra cobra, native to southern Africa, had escaped from the residence of 21-year-old Christopher Gifford, who has shared numerous videos of venomous snakes on TikTok, the Washington Post reports.
Phil Bradley at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, tells ABC11 that the snake was captured using glue traps, which might sound "strange (and) potentially inhumane," but worked extremely well and did not harm the snake. The glue was removed with mineral oil. Officials are considering tightening laws on snake-keeping, which Bradley notes were originally introduced to deal with religious snake-handlers. It's not clear whether Giffords obeyed regulations, which include notifying police as soon as there has been an escape. Bradley says he hopes the incident doesn't stigmatize people who keep venomous animals responsibly. "You will likely never hear about them because they don't post their animals or what they do with them on social media," he says. "They're not looking for attention, they just truly love the species." (Read more cobra stories.)