THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) --People in Thousand Oaks are on the lookout for a rare, exotic and very dangerous snake after it bit a dog on the 1300 block of Rancho Lane, then slithered away on Monday night.
The white monocled cobra bit Norma Stull's daughter's dog on the neck. The daughter managed to take a photograph of the snake before it disappeared. The dog, named "Tiko," was treated at a local veterinarian and is doing well, expected to make a full recovery.
The search for the snake was briefly called off, but Wednesday afternoon five L.A. County Animal Control officers arrived at the area to poke at bushes and peek into shrubbery. A professional snake wrangler was brought in to assist in the search.
"There's tons of places here. Looking under logs and stuff. It's mostly terrestrials, they stay on the ground. But you don't want to surprise it," said snake wrangler Jules Sylvester. "He's a snake, he's good at hiding. The good thing about it: He's pure white, so he'll glow in the dark, almost."
"They have very deadly venom, or can be deadly without the anti-venom. They're just as dangerous around here as if you encountered a rattlesnake," said L.A. County Animal Control Officer Alfred Aguirre.
Officials are urging residents to keep an eye on their children and to stay away from areas with features like culverts and pipes where a cobra could hide.
The monocled cobra can be active at any time of day, but officials say it is most active during the morning or evening hours when it is cooler.
"It's normally found in Southeast Asia. It's not common to this area, so it's a very different reptile for us to have in the Thousand Oaks area," said Aguirre.
Anyone who sees the snake is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Agoura Animal Care Center at (818) 991-0071 or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at (909) 899-0659.
While a bite from a cobra like this is certainly no laughing matter, some people are being comical about the cobra. People have created Twitter accounts for the cobra.
In one case, @AlbinoMonoCobra tweeted: "Really sorry I bit that dog... I thought it was a mongoose."
Animal Control officers say you're not supposed to own a monocle cobra in L.A. County unless you get a wildlife permit from the state. It's not clear if the owner of this particular snake had the proper permit. No one has come forward to report a missing snake.