Highly venomous white cobra is on the loose in Los Angeles suburb


Hmmm… Snake escapes from an asshole.


Yes, the owner is both an asshole and criminally incompetent. On the other hand there’s the snake’s theme song…


Just to be clear, is he/she an asshole because they keep white cobras at home, or because it escaped? I assume that general snake ownership is OK?

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Yeah, it creates all kinds of havoc whenever I let my “white cobra” out.


Snakes, in general, are OK, but most snakes are not deadly. If my neighbor has a snake, no problem (real life: this happened, a pair of boa constrictors). If my neighbor kept rattlesnakes or cobras as pets, I might have something to say about this.


A criminal record!

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Yeah, its great. Almost as cool as pet spiders.

No guns or poisonous snakes please?

Are there many poisonous snakes as pets? I also knew someone who had a boa constrictor, but I have no idea how common it is to keep poisonous snakes.

I have never seen a gun shoot itself, or escape its own cage. Guns have no mind of their own, and will sit happily in a safe for years. Animals, on the other hand, have to have the cage opened regularly for feeding and cleaning. When dangerous animals escape, they also tend to do whatever they want – or whatever their instincts tell them to do.


Where is Rikki-tikki-tavi when you need him?


Depends what you mean by ‘poisonous’.

Thousands upon thousands of snakes of very mildly venomous (but essentially harmless) species are kept as pets (e.g. Hognose snakes, Garter snakes).

A small proportion of reptile keepers own snakes that are moderately venomous, but not significantly dangerous (e.g. Mangrove snakes, False water cobras). Keeping of these often isn’t restricted by law.

An even smaller proportion keep dangerously venomous snakes (cobras, vipers etc), usually under licence. Here in the UK, keeping is restricted under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act, which involves annual renewal, and inspection of the premises where they’re kept. I’ve met hundreds of people who keep snakes, but only ever two people licenced under the DWA, both of whom kept small vipers.

In general, there isn’t much fun in having a cold-blooded pet. Maybe they look “cool” but they’re boring. They do very little, and they barely interact with people. They will never recognize you and show you any loyalty, and they will leave you, the first opportunity they get. To possess a creature does not make it a pet, there has to be a two-way relationship. As far as the snake is concerned, you are an abstract: possibly recognized as a source of food but that’s doubtful.

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Right - it’s not like “thanks for the mouse, dude!”. File under ‘why people keep exotica at home’.

Edit: They caught it.

I’m from Thousand Oaks, so a lot of my friends were rather concerned about this. One of them did some research and discovered that for $500 she could buy a white cobra from a guy in Florida and have it shipped. Although neither of us have any idea how one ships a venomous and presumably pissed-off snake.

I’ll agree to that. With both, we are responsible for keeping them secure and safe.

In dry ice? Or is that too cold?