I have an irrational fear of snakes. Growing up I would close my eyes in fear every time Steve Irwin got way too close to a snake. For some reason, cobras always freaked me out. Imagine my fear and horrors when I saw that there is a venomous West African Banded Cobra snake making its way around a neighborhood in Texas.

Of course, I have way too many questions here.

Who is allowed to own a cobra in Texas?

Turns out anyone can be an exotic snake owner in the great state of Texas. Texas has an Exotic Snake Permit that costs you a crisp $20 bill. Do you need training or safety classes before you acquire the snake? Nope, and you only have to apply after you purchase the snake. The kick is that you must purchase the snake from a licensed pet seller.

So now we know the possession of this snake was perfectly legal, how did the snake escape?

We don't know, all we know is that the owner of the snake noticed it had escaped around 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 3rd. The owner of the cobra called Grand Prairie Animal Services for help locating the venomous snake. So far the snake has not been located and the snake could be anywhere in the vicinity of the 1800 block of Cherry Street in Grand Prairie.

Here is what the Grand Praire Police Department said on their Facebook page:

"On Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at around 6:30 P.M., Grand Prairie Animal Services responded to a report of a missing snake from a residence in the 1800 block of Cherry Street. The owner noticed his venomous West African Banded Cobra snake, permitted by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, missing from its enclosure around 5:00 P.M. Animal Services, the owner, and a venomous snake apprehension professional actively searched for the snake inside and outside of the residence through the night with no success. Residents who live in the area and see any type of snake believed to be the missing cobra, are asked to call 911 immediately.
**Do not approach or attempt to capture the venomous snake**
The Grand Prairie Police Department has partnered with the Grand Prairie Fire Department who has alerted area hospitals of the missing snake and initiated a protocol with Parkland hospital to treat this type of snakebite in event of a human encounter. GPPD has also been in contact with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department related to policy and procedures on the permitting of venomous snakes in residential areas."

The police department attached a photo of the West African Banded Cobra just in case a resident spots it.

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