Escaped venomous snake captured after two days in North Carolina

Police in North Carolina said a highly venomous zebra cobra on the loose in Raleigh was safely captured in the same neighborhood where it was first spotted.

The zebra cobra, an African species of snake known for spitting its potent venom, was first reported Monday when a resident spotted the serpent on their porch, but the reptile was gone by the time authorities arrived on the scene.

The Raleigh Police Department confirmed the snake was captured in the same neighborhood Wednesday night by animal control and law enforcement officers.

The snake belongs to Christopher Gifford, a neighborhood resident who shows off his collection of exotic reptiles on social media platforms, including TikTok. Gifford was hospitalized in April after he received a bite from his own West African green mamba snake.

North Carolina allows for the private ownership of venomous snakes, but has strict rules requiring the animals to be kept in escape-proof enclosures. Owners are also required to notify authorities if an animal does manage to escape.

It was unclear whether police consider any laws to have been broken in the case of the escaped zebra cobra. It was not known whether the snake would be returned to Gifford.