Snake owner's cobra escapes and terrorized North Carolina neighborhood since November

I have never understood people that want to keep deadly animals as pets. When I was in college I was friends with a guy who kept a rather huge snake as a pet and he reveled in scaring you with it when he would take it out of the cage / aquarium that it lived in and just allow it to wander the apartment.

He would always say things like "there is nothing to worry about, she isn't a biter" but good grief man, people are wigged out by snakes and although I have never nor would I ever, own one, I feel as though there isn't such a thing as a snake that isn't a "biter" like he suggests.

This same friend also had a freezer filled with frozen rats that he would thaw out to feed to the snake and looking back, I'm a little in awe that I stayed friends with this guy. We met when we were both working at Papa Johns and it turned out we both like the same kind of music so that's what started it. It took a little while for me to realize how much of a weirdo he was and I hope he is doing well. I haven't spoken to him or heard anything about him in nearly 20 years. I hope he wasn't killed by his choice of pets.


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Anyway, a guy far more strange than my college pizza parlor buddy had taken this snake owning game to much higher level as he didn't just have a snake to freak out would-be visitors. He had dozens of the bastards in his home and many of them are venomous and deadly. He apparently has quite a few followers who also like weird things on Tik Tock (never used it) and YT so I'm guessing he makes a bit of money on this. He is just 21 years old and his name is Chris Gifford and well, I'm not going to judge what you do for a hobby, even though I think it is extremely strange to want to have animals that can kill you if they want to and unlike some other deadly animals such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers, don't obey commands.


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It is not illegal to own venomous creatures in North Carolina, and we are one of the few states that are like that. I like to believe this is another nice little tick in the "freedom" column for NC. That doesn't mean you can just have cobras running all over your house though, they have to be contained in a particular manner and well, considering that they could kill people, I can't say I disagree with this idea.

Chris' Zebra Cobra escaped from its enclosure back in November of last year and he didn't tell anyone about it and apparently it has been keeping his Raleigh neighborhood in a state of unease because we don't exactly see a great deal of snakes in places like Raleigh outside of a zoo, let alone one that will kill you if it's one of the bitey kinds.

Snakes don't do a great deal of long-distance travel on their own so when it was discovered that a venomous snake was on the prowl, the neighbors knew exactly who to talk to.

When Chris' residence was visited by authorities it was discovered that he wasn't adhering to the safety standards that the state requires for deadly animals.

Now as a freedom lover, I am a bit on the fence as far as this is concerned. One side of me want to say that Chris can do whatever the hell he wants on his own property but once that "doing whatever you want" becomes a danger to others around you, there should be consequences. I don't think that it should be up to the government about how you store something that can cause harm to others, but in the event that it does cause harm there needs to be consequences.

The snake in question didn't harm anyone and Chris could have avoided all of this if he had just told someone about it when the snake disappeared about it last November. Because of his failure to do so, he is now facing a ton of charges most of which I think should be thrown out. The charges of "improper enclosures" and "mislabeled enclosures" are just government meddling in my mind. However the one charge that I think should actually stick is the one of "failure to report escape."

If Chris had simply told animal control about the situation back in November, perhaps all of this could have been avoided. Perhaps he is very untrusting of the government but look man, November wasn't just last week and what happens when your zebra cobra bites a kid or even a dog? That's not cool. If your zebra cobra bit and killed one of my dogs it would take a lot of restraint for me to not return the "favor" to you.

Dude should have reported it and now he is probably going to have all of his snakes taken away from him because of this. Some of them probably cost him a lot of money as well.

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