Miami Dade officials have anti-venom on standby.
That escaped cobra in Ocala, Florida is still causing headaches for officials as the search nears day seven.
Now, the Miami-Dade fire department has anti-venom on standby to counteract the reptile’s venom if someone is bitten. “More likely we will be involved,” the department’s Lt. Lisa Wood told the Miami Herald. “We are not aware of anyone else in the state who has it.”
They may be a person’s only hope if they are bitten by the snake. The unit is ready to ship five to 20 vials to a hospital in an emergency. The amount of antivenin needed would depend on the bite’s severity.
“The sooner a person gets the antivenin the better,” Wood told the Miami Herald. This snake’s venom can potentially hinder breathing.
Amazingly, the department has actually dealt with this type of cobra bite before. There were six such cobra bites there in 2013.
Officials still believe the snake, which is now being identified as a monocled cobra as a didn’t wander too far away from where it escaped due to colder-than-normal conditions, but they still haven’t been able to relocate it.
There’s some speculation the snake was eaten by one of the lizards in the collection of the reptile handler the serpent escaped from. But x-rays taken of the lizard’s belly however, proved inconclusive and the search continues.
Ocala.com reports there was one false alarm for the venomous reptile so far. A resident reported a harmless yellow rat snake to officials near a motel on Saturday.
While the situation is frustrating for residents and wildlife officials, the internet of course, had their own take. A parody “Ocala Cobra” Twitter account quickly popped up, much like the escaped Bronx Zoo cobra in 2011.
In that case, the snake, an Egyptian cobra, was eventually found still inside the zoo’s reptile house.