A missing pet is never a good thing. When you make the news for losing your animal?

Even worse.

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.

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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

After the cobra was reported missing, DFW Wildlife Control set traps to catch the serpent, but were unable to find it.

The Cobra has a Twitter account with 6,859 Followers that went viral after her escape, but there is no current information on the social media page.

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.


People Who Should Not Own Pets

The Humane Society of North Texas (HSNT) Cruelty Department rescued more than 50 dogs from a residence that investigators needed Hazmat suits to enter.

LOOK: 15 Pets You CAN'T Own in the City of Temple

Temple is a super pet-friendly place to live, but there are some animals city officials would really rather you not try to tame and keep in your home. Let's take a look at a few of the critters on the banned list.

Bet You Didn't Know: 10 Bizarre Texas Laws Still on the Books

Many states still have strange laws on the books that aren’t enforced or taken seriously anymore, and Texas is no exception.

Most of these laws are just funny now, but at one time, there was a valid (or at least somewhat valid) reason for them to exist.

Texas has plenty of strange rules and regulations that you could technically be prosecuted for if you violate them, since they've never been amended. Some of these are only for specific cities and not state-wide, but all of them are pretty odd!

Let's take a look at 10 of the weirdest ones in the Lone Star State.

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