Albino Cobra on the Loose in California Suburb
Dept. of Animal Care and Control, County of Los Angeles
UPDATE, September 5, 2014: The snake was finally captured on Thursday.
If you live in the upscale suburb of Thousand Oaks, Calif., keep an eye out for something long, slithery, and all-white. An albino monocled cobra has been slithering in the neighborhood since at least Monday of this week.
The snake has a lethally venomous bite, although no people have yet been harmed. So far, only a dog has run afoul of the creature and been bitten. (The canine survived the encounter.)
As of this writing, officials are busy going door-to-door in the neighborhood to warn residents about the snake. They expect the creature will typically lay low somewhere dark until sunset, when it will be most active, hunting for small food sources such as mice.
Animal control officials say this type of snake would not be large enough to go after pets in a predatory fashion, but residents are being told to keep their cats and dogs indoors to avoid being bitten by the cobra if it feels threatened.
Albino cobras can grow to be about 7 feet long, although it's not yet known if this particular snake is fully grown. Also unknown is where the snake came from -- no owner has claimed responsibility for it. Californians need a special state permit to own a cobra, and even then only for scientific or educational purposes. Los Angeles County bans them altogether.