THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — A deadly albino cobra that ran loose for days in a Southern California neighborhood was captured Thursday.
"We are overjoyed. We are glad that the public was not harmed," Los Angeles County spokesman Brandon Dowling said after county animal control officers nabbed the monocled cobra shortly after 3 p.m.
Television reports showed officers using a long-handled tong-like grabber to haul the snake from a pile of scrap lumber in a backyard and put it in a long wooden box. It was taken to an animal shelter.
The snake didn't go quietly, though.
"Once we grabbed it, it was afraid of us so it tried to strike at us," animal control officer Fred Agoopi said. "But we had the proper equipment and were able to handle it."
Los Angeles County handles animal control duties for this Ventura County town.
The venom of the cobra is a neurotoxin that can kill within an hour. However, it wasn't immediately clear whether the albino snake — which apparently escaped from captivity — still had its venom glands, authorities said.
The snake, which is several feet long, had been on the loose since at least Monday evening, when it reportedly bit a dog. However, the veterinarian who treated the animal said it appeared that the dog wasn't bitten but was hurt while trying to escape the snake, KNBC-TV reported.
County animal control officers and state wildlife officials poked through bushes and checked woodpiles, concentrating their searches during cooler morning and evening hours when the snake was more likely to be up and around.
There were no more confirmed sightings of the snake until Thursday afternoon, when it was seen slithering in the same Rancho Lane area where it originally was spotted.
Tanya Gray saw it crossing the road. She kept an eye on it but didn't approach. "It wasn't my job to stop it or catch it," she told KCAL-TV.