GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - For three days his story has gripped a Grand Prairie neighborhood in fear, now a missing West African Banded Cobra has joined Twitter to talk about his travels through the city.
Tweeting Texas heavy quips like, "Just left a Bazaar and I THINK I saw my cousin, who is now a pair of boots, NOT cool," the snake is taking his new-found fame in stride.
It didn't take long for the cobra to get in a Twitter spat either with a rival critter thirsty for social media clout. And from the looks of it, the 'Grand Prairie Possum' wants to meet up in real life.
All jokes aside, the 6 foot snake is still missing.
On August 3, at about 5 p.m., it escaped its enclosure at a home in the 1800 block of Cherry Street. Grand Prairie Animal Services arrived just after 6:30 p.m. to help the snake's owner look for it. They, along with a venomous snake apprehension professional actively searched for it inside and outside of the home through the night -- to no avail.
Experts say the highly venomous cobra is considered the largest of Africa's true cobras. They can grow up to 10 feet and are frequently kept in zoos, research institutes and private collections...
The owner, who was permitted to purchase the snake, told CBS 11 News on Wednesday that he believes the snake is dead, and the public is not in any danger. Police haven't charged or issued him any citations (yet), but are still looking into any other possible violations.
"I wanted my community to feel safe. And yeah, it's required. I'm required as a permitted citizen to call my community if somethings, a mishap," owner Tre Mat said.
The 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 snake bite in event of a human encounter. They are also in contact with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department related to policy and procedures on the permitting of venomous snakes in residential areas.
The state issues permits for venomous snakes but owners must follow local rules. Grand Prairie police said it's too early to say what law, if any, was broken.
"We're exploring all options. That means is there a city ordinance violation? Is there a state law that was broken? Is there a federal law that was broken that comes to how the snake was transported into the United States," said Mark Beseda, spokesman for the Grand Prairie Police Department.
Anyone who sees the snake is advised to call 911, and not approach or pick it up.
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