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Viper Bite, Cobra Escape put Snake Hobby in Spotlight

September 15, 2015

Earlier this month a 10-foot king cobra escaped from its owner in Winter Garden and a Winter Park resident was bitten by his pet Gaboon viper.  The cobra, Elvis, was discovered under the dryer of a neighbor, a half-mile away from the home of his keeper.  Both owners were venomous snake enthusiasts who had all of the proper permitting to house the snakes.  The Winter Park resident was bitten while attempting to feed his pet viper, one of about 18 venomous snakes owned by the man.  "Records show that more than 60 people in Orange, Osceola, Seminole[,] Lake, Volusia, Brevard[,] and Polk counties have permits to keep venomous or potentially dangerous reptiles.  Some of those are zoos and wildlife reserves, but others are people keeping the animals at home."  According to the director of Medtoxin Venom Laboratories in DeLand, there is plenty of antivenin available in Central Florida.


For more information, see:

  • Stephanie Allen, Orlando Sentinel, "Viper bite, cobra escape put snake hobby in spotlight," September 25, 2015,

  • Inside Edition, "King Cobra Snake Missing For a Month is Found in Woman's Dryer", October 9, 2015, 










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