Venomous missing snake goes viral on TikTok

A warning video of the zebra cobra slithering through the streets of Raleigh, North Carolina went viral on TikTok.

WRAL’s Kasey Cunningham cautioned her audience that the neighborhood didn’t have any idea that the venomous snake was living in their proximity as well as the snake could spit and bite if cornered and asked anyone who encountered it to dial 911 “immediately.”

The cobra was found Wednesday afternoon after it was previously spotted on a porch on Sandringham Drive on Tuesday evening, according to an early morning alert issued by the Raleigh Police Department (RPD).

“At approximately 5:10 p.m. this evening, a Raleigh Police Department animal control officer responded to the 7000 block of Sandringham Drive in conjunction with a report of a live snake that was spotted on the porch of a resident’s property. Upon the officer’s arrival, the snake was not located,” the release said.

The scaly serpent, native to Africa, was the pet of a resident, Christopher Gifford, his neighbors told WRAL-TV on Tuesday.

Gifford has a large digital following about exotic reptiles; his agenda is wildlife protection and beauty advocacy.

He posted on Facebook in April after his snake bit him.

“In all honesty I shouldn’t have lived and I thank God that I’m here today,” he wrote in the Facebook post.

The black-and-brown nocturnal snake was identified by its light, vertical stripes and can grow up to 5 feet.

The zebra cobra originates from central Namibia and Angola, according to the African Snake Bite Institute.

The institute noted that, while the snake is usually “shy” and normally chooses flight over fight, it is quick to bite and its venom is cytotoxic and could cause tissue damage.

Fatalities are reportedly “not common.”

State law says that owning a venomous snake is not illegal if the owner keeps the reptile in an escape-proof and bite-proof enclosure labeled “Venomous Reptile Inside” with scientific name, common name, appropriate antivenin, has an escape recovery plan and the location of suitable antivenin and first aid.