Escaped King Cobra believed to be a hoax, say RSPCA

A venomous King Cobra feared to be at large in MK is believed to have been a hoax, according to the RSPCA.

Monday, 7th March 2016, 11:19 am
Updated Monday, 7th March 2016, 11:26 am
King Cobra

Last week a woman claimed her pet snake had escaped from the garden of her Fishermead home.

Appealing for help to track down the slippery character, she warned: “Do not approach”, but added, “Please help to find her, she’s my baby and I miss her” in a bid to get the reptile back.

However, a spokesman from the RSPCA said the charity was unsure whether the missing snake is legitimate as they have not received any calls regarding it.

Instead they said it was likely to have been a hoax.

King cobras are considered a “dangerous wild animal” and so require a licence to be kept under the DWAA 1976. And this licence would mean any venom would be removed from the reptile.

Part of the licensing process is ensuring the animal cannot escape. It is also an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to release or allow any non-native species to escape into the wild.

Scientific Officer Alexandra Jones added: “It is likely that this is a hoax but in case the reports are true, it is important that the snake is captured soon by an experienced individual as this species is very intelligent and is the largest venomous snake species in the world.

“King cobra can reach a length of around six metres, though females are smaller. This species originates from South East Asia including Thailand and India so the snake is likely to be feeling very sluggish and could die if it is not found due to the cold weather.

“The most likely cause of any snake bite is when somebody attempts to handle or kill one. Therefore if anyone finds any snake in unusual circumstances they suspect to be dangerous, they should keep at a safe distance and call the police who will be able to contact the relevant organisation.”

If anyone spots a snake they should contact the RSPCA immediately.