A Florida man lost his 8-foot king cobra and officials have called off the search -- without finding it

On September 3, Florida wildlife officials began a rather unusual hunt for a very exotic and dangerous animal: a king cobra.

King cobras are native to forests in India and Southeast Asia, but this 8-foot-long snake has a home in Orlando.

For the last two weeks, officials had been searching for the poisonous snake, but on Sept. 15 they called off the hunt even though the poisonous snake is still at large.

Officials told WKMG-TV that the snake is likely still near the home to which it belongs.

While king cobras usually avoid humans and will run from a confrontation, they can turn extremely aggressive if harassed. They’re not one of the world’s most venomous snakes, but they can administer a lethal dose of venom from one bite.

Right before a strike, the snake will rear the upper-half of its body into the air, bare its fangs, and hiss. When that happens, it is best to steer clear unless you want to feel the deadly effects of a potent neurotoxin as it first blurs your vision, then paralyzes you, and eventually shuts down your entire nervous system.

So why is this deadly serpent slipping through Orlando in the first place?

The snake belongs to Discovery Channel cast member Mike Kennedy, who has experience dealing with exotic animals and, according to the Orlando Sentinel, has a permit to keep the snake in his home.

But the snake is no longer in his home, and — consequently — Kennedy has been cited for the snake’s escape. He has a court date scheduled for next month, according to WPTV.

Schools near Kennedy’s home were initially keeping students indoors when the snake was first announced lose. But it seems the initial scare has subsided since children are, once again, romping about outside during recess.

One parent, Shauna Parnell, however, is still very-much concerned about the situation and she told WPTV what she thought:

“If [Kennedy] really cared, he’d be out there every day of the week looking for it. I mean if it was my snake, which I wouldn’t have it in the first place, I’d be out there every day of the week,” Parnell said.

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