For over 12 days, an escaped king cobra has terrorized the citizens of Apopka. On September 1st, an 8 foot long venomous king cobra escaped from its cage at a house off North Apopka Vineland Rd. The owner of the snake is Mike Kennedy. Kennedy is an exotic animal dealer and star of a Discovery Channel reality show called “Aiplane Repo”. He is licensed and bonded to carry various exotic animals. Attempts to find the snake have been unsuccessful and it has taken an effect on the neighboring citizens. Nearby Clarcona Elementary School temporarily moved outdoor recess activities inside to avoid a possible encounter with the elusive serpent. Classes normally held in outdoor portables were also briefly held in the main building just as a precaution.
Some local citizens have begun to voice their opinions about the animal. Local resident James McLeod says, “I’m going to go load my guns. Well, they’re already loaded, but I’m going to have them ready for sure. I mean, that thing’s big enough to take you down for sure.”
Many children are no longer allowed out alone and some residents have expressed concerns about walking their dogs.
“Having to change the routine, the kid can’t walk the dog. I don’t walk the dog alone just because it’s scary. It’s so dark out in here. We’re locking up the house, keeping the garage down.” said Kara Kirtz.
The number of workers involved in the search for the snake has been scaled back and the most promising hope lies in the traps that have been set around the area in which the animal is thought to be. The traps are baited with dead snakes. It is very similar to the method of feeding it was accustomed to while in captivity. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation officials believe this method will be affective. The city of Apopka really hopes so.