Lethally Venemous Cobra Potentially on the Loose in Texas Town: Police

by Matthew Memrick

Grand Prairie, Texas residents should be on the lookout for a deadly venomous cobra.

Police began alerting people that a six-foot West African Banded Cobra escaped from a man’s home on Aug. 3. Soon after, the Grand Prairie Animal Services responded along with a snake apprehension professional. Unfortunately, the cobra still was on the loose.

“We haven’t got anything on it. No sightings, or tips or calls on different snakes,” Grand Prairie Police Public Information Officer Mark Beseda told CNN.

According to experts, the West African Banded Cobra is considered one of Africa’s authentic cobras. Some grow more than 10 feet long. Wildlife officials put ten traps around the home.

“It’s not going to chase you down, DFW Wildlife Control official Randall Kennedy told CBS11. “If you step on it, it’s going to bite you. If you grab it, it’s going to bite you. Other than that, you’re pretty safe.”

As zoos, research facilities, and private collections often hold this particular snake. Owner Tre Mat may be in legal hot water. He told CBS 11 that he was permitted the purchase the snake. Grand Prairie, however, has a local ordinance outlawing the ownership of this snake.

Mat told the station that he thought the snake was dead and the public was out of danger. Police have not charged the owner but are looking into all their options.  

“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,” Mat said.

Area hospitals initiated a protocol in the event the snake biting a person.

Police are also in contact with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department related to policy and procedures regarding venomous snakes in residential areas. The city also sent employees out door-to-door to alert the public. 

Lethally Venomous Cobra Was Loose In N.C. Town Last Month

Last month, a Zebra snake got loose in Raleigh, N.C. Fortunately, officials captured the snake within days before anyone came across the snake.  

In an earlier incident, a different snake bit that same owner. 

Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens in Columbia, S.C., had to rush antivenom to save Christopher Gifford’s in April. Gifford’s snake was a West African Green Mamba snake that bit him. 

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

Gifford has a significant social media presence, particularly on TikTok. The owner often handles exotic reptiles, promotes their beauty, and advocates for their protection.

According to ABC11, it is legal to own a venomous snake. However, the owner must follow several guidelines such as having an escape-proof cage and alerting law enforcement immediately in the event of an escape.