Seen This Cobra? Highly Venomous Snake Still Missing in Texas; Owner Charged
A missing pet is never a good thing. When you make the news for losing your animal?
A highly venomous, 6 foot long African Banded Cobra escaped from her North Texas cage over six months ago, and she is still on the loose.
What Charges Does The Snake Owner Face?
Former Grand Prairie snake owner Lawrence Matl is accused of committing a misdemeanor involving the illegal discharge of the snake in August 2021.
He’s accused of violating the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s "Release from Captivity" code, which is a Class A misdemeanor, according to KDFW in Dallas.
He kept the female snake in a wooden homemade cage with plexiglass with no locks.
Matl had two other pet snakes as well; a male West Banded African cobra, and a pit viper. Both were taken from the home with help from a wildlife removal company.
Why The Cobra Escaped
An expert from a local wildlife removal company advised investigators that the cage wasn’t sufficient for such a highly venomous snake, according to the arrest warrant.
African Banded Cobras are considered the largest of Africa’s true cobras. They can grow up to 10 feet and are frequently kept in zoos, research institutes and private collections.
The Cobra Has Not Been Found
Matl was released from the Grand Prairie Detention Center after posting $10,000 bond.
KDFW reports that Matl’s previous assault charge and six misdemeanors, in addition to the overall interest in the case, may have affected his high bond amount.
How Far Can Snakes Travel?
According to faunafacts.com, snakes typically don't travel very far from their original habitat.
There are exceptions to every rule, but unless the missing cobra found very good shelter or another home, odds are not good for its survival.