Man bitten by deadly cobra sparks concern over exotic pets -

Man bitten by deadly cobra sparks concern over exotic pets

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(File photo) (File photo)

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(Meredith / WNEM) -- Residents are worried about exotic animals next door after their neighbor was bitten by his pet cobra. 

A man in Bay County, Michigan called 911 Sunday asking for an ambulance. He said he was bitten by a Monocled Cobra, an exotic venomous snake native to South and Southeast Asia. 

He was rushed to a hospital in Detroit where he was listed under serious condition. Six units of antivenom were sent to the hospital from Miami.

The sheriff’s office said the man owns several venomous reptiles and laws vary in each jurisdiction. There is no ordinance in place in Pinconning Township that would ban people from keeping these types of animals as pets.

The Monocled Cobra produces a  powerful venom containing neurotoxins that can paralyze the nervous system and the respiratory system causing death from lack of oxygen.

"It's extremely dangerous. Zoos are probably the best place for a venomous snake other than the wild. And a lot of zoos don't have them because they are such a liability," said Mia Banaszek, reptile expert with the Saginaw Children's Zoo in Saginaw, Michigan.

The man's next door neighbors, the Curtis family, are concerned for their community's safety after hearing about the incident.

"I'd like to put a privacy fence up all the way up," Sherry Curtis said.

Bay County Sheriff Troy Cunningham said the cobra is contained and still inside the house. Authorities say they're still not sure what to do about the snake, but neighbors said it needs to go.

"I don't even know if I wanna walk out the door," Curtis said.

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