Owner of Petting Zoo Near Home of Escaped Cobra Not Worried

The owner of a petting zoo located near the home of an escaped king cobra says she isn't too worried about the safety of her animals.

Shelly Barber doubts the 8-foot-long venomous snake will slither down the street to her farm, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday.

"If he crosses the street without being hit, he's gonna be one lucky snake,'' she said.

Barber keeps about 100 animals including donkeys, pigeons, goats, rabbits and horses on her property. About 20 visitors stop at her petting zoo most weekends, but Barber says visitors are staying away after news of the king cobra's escape from a nearby Orlando-area home. She had only one visitor by early afternoon on Saturday.

"Other people are definitely worried, for sure,'' she said.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials have been searching for the snake since Wednesday, when its owner reported it missing. Officials have set box traps but haven't caught the deadly snake.

Officials have asked that children at a nearby elementary school remain indoors throughout the school day as a precaution.

Officials warn residents not to approach the reptile if they see it and instead urge them to contact the agency's alert hotline.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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