9:55 AM PDT, August 9, 2021
It has been nearly a week since venomous snake experts began searching for a deadly West African banded cobra that got loose in a Texas neighborhood. Grand Prairie residents, authorities and medics are on high alert, but as usual, Twitter seems to have jokes.
The snake, which can deliver fatal bites, already has a social media presence under the Twitter handle @CobraGrand. “Just a cobra visiting and seeing the sites of Grand Prairie and North Texas,” its bio reads.
Since the cobra’s escape from someone’s home last Tuesday, the account has been posting memes, jokes and videos alike.
The snake was reported missing from its enclosure in a private residence around 5 p.m. Tuesday. A search for the reptile was launched inside and around the home that stretched into the night, the Grand Prairie Police Department said in a statement.
Anyone who spots the venomous snake is asked not to approach and dial 911 immediately.
Local hospitals were alerted of the missing cobra and worked with the Grand Prairie Fire Department to prepare for any accidental snake bites. West African banded cobras and part of the Naja genus of cobras, native to the savannas of West Africa, can grow up to 7-feet long and their bite can be fatal if not treated immediately, according to the National Geographic.
But the snake’s owner Tre Mat doesn’t believe the public is in any danger. He told CBS DFW that he believes his snake is dead, and he contacted authorities immediately after realizing his snake was missing because he “wanted [the] community to feel safe.”
Mat has not been charged in relation to the snake’s escape.
While it is not illegal to own a venomous snake as long as the owner has a permit from the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife, Grand Prairie City does not allow for wild animals, or animals “not of a common domestic species and constitutes a danger to human life” within city limits, according to an animal shelter.