Dangerous venomous cobra loose in Thousand Oaks

A poisonous albino cobra was spotted in a Thousand Oaks neighborhood on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.
A poisonous albino cobra was spotted in a Thousand Oaks neighborhood on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014.
L.A. County Department of Animal Care & Control

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There is a loose cobra in Thousand Oaks, according to a news release from the Los Angeles County chief executive's office.

The loose albino monocled cobra was last seen in the 1300 block of Rancho Lane, according to a statement from L.A. County Animal Control. The snake was in a residential area, L.A. County spokesperson Lara Arsinian tells KPCC.

Both L.A. County Animal Control and state Fish and Wildlife personnel searched the area for the snake, but Fish and Wildlife called off their search mid-afternoon, Chief Executive's Office spokesperson David Sommers tells KPCC. Animal Control continued their search.

"We learned of this from a dog owner, whose dog was bitten by the snake," the chief executive's original statement said. "The owner provided photographs of the snake so we could positively identify it."

The dog was bitten on Monday and taken to the animal hospital on Tuesday, NBC L.A. reports, but the dog was released to its owner by Wednesday, according to media reports.

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Monocled albino cobras are illegal to own in the area, Arsinian said.

"It's a native to southeast Asia. It is venomous and very, very dangerous," Arsinian said.

This type of cobra can strike at any time, but is most active in the cooler morning and evening hours, according to the Animal Control statement. It is also known to strike if cornered.

The Ventura County Medical Center's emergency room has been alerted, according to the chief executive's statement. They've also found an antivenom at the San Diego Zoo, which Arsinian said was making its way to L.A.

"They're just like us," Animal Care Officer Alfred Aguirre tells KPCC. "They don't want to be out in the middle of the sun baking at this time of day, so they'll be underneath the different bushes, trees, stuff that might be thrown in your backyard as junk."

The monocled albino cobra can grow to up to six or seven feet, Aguirre told KPCC. Officials don't know how the snake got here, but the light albino coloring makes it easier to spot than other snakes that are native to the area, Aguirre said.

The public is asked to call 911 and (818) 991-0071 if they spot the snake.

This story has been updated.