OCALA, Florida — This is why you should leave snake handling to the pros.
An apprentice working his way towards getting a license to handle venomous reptiles has been charged with letting a deadly cobra snake escape from its cage, authorities said,
Ian Nesmith, 28, was apparently handling the snake — a highly poisonous yellow monocled cobra — in March when it got away, violating Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission rules about who can handle such deadly animals.
Officials repeatedly searched the home where the 2-foot-long snake went missing but it has not yet been found.
Its disappearance was brought to the attention of authorities by licensed snake handler, Brian Purdy, who had been helping train Nesmith. Purdy told officials that Nesmith had been checking on the snake and had opened the cover of its cage from which it later slithered out, according to WKMG-TV
Officials say Nesmith should not have been allowed to be alone while handling deadly animals. Receiving a venomous reptile permit requires is a rigorous process that requires at least 1,000 hours of experience with each reptile one wants to handle.
Purdy is one of 280 licensed snake handlers in Florida, according to the commission.