King cobra captured after terrorizing US town

Miami (AFP) – A dangerous king cobra that panicked a Florida community has been recaptured, found under a household dryer more than a month after escaping, authorities said Thursday.

The venomous snake, named Elvis, escaped from its owner on September 1 in Ocoee, Florida, prompting a frantic search and calls for people to exercise extreme caution.

Three animal services officers struggled to capture the 10-foot (three-meter) snake Wednesday, after a concerned resident reported hissing sounds from beneath a dryer in her garage, Orange County Animal Services said in a statement.

“I attempted to put the snake in my snake box but it was too large to fit,” said Billy Ledford, a county animal services officer.

Valerie Kennedy, the wife of the cobra’s owner, confirmed that the snake was indeed Elvis.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scanned the king cobra for microchip identification and approved it for return home.

Owner Mike Kennedy pleaded not guilty this week to a misdemeanor charge for not immediately reporting the disappearance of the dangerous snake, according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.

His wife tweeted that the snake was “weak but alive,” and welcomed the fact that there was “no harm to anyone.”

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