OCALA, FL (CNN/WFTV) - Imagine police knocking on your door at 3 a.m. to notify you that a deadly cobra is loose in your neighborhood. That's what some residents of Ocala, FL, faced early Tuesday.
Police and fish and wildlife officials are searching for an escaped monocled cobra. The highly venomous snake belongs to a private resident. It got loose while the man was at work and an apprentice was taking care of the reptile.
He says the snake jumped at him when he lifted the cover of its cage, and then slithered away. After the owner and apprentice could not locate the snake, they called wildlife officials to help.
When they could not find the cobra either, they began notifying neighbors. Those authorities are helping police investigate.
There are two bits of good news in the case of the missing snake: Officials think cold weather will stop it from going very far. And the owner noticed one of his pet lizards had a larger than usual belly.
A local veterinarian is conducting tests to try to find out if it may have eaten the escaped snake. Officials are saying that they will search for the snake until dark, and resume in the morning if the creature is not found, WFTV reported.