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Deadly Pet Cobra Escapes from Home in Small Dutch Town

Residents in a small Dutch town are battening down the hatches after a deadly pet cobra went on the lam. Children have been warned not to play outside and residents asked to close their windows and doors until the reptile is found. "The cobra has fangs and a single bite can be deadly to humans," the town of Drimmelen warned on its website.

The state of alert was raised Wednesday night when the creature slipped out of a terrarium inside a private home in Drimmelen, home to 26,000 people. Residents have been told to stay out of harm's way while the pet's owner, some friends and snake experts hunt for the venomous cape cobra, also known as a yellow cobra. Hospitals have also been alerted so they can stock up on antivenom. "The main focus right now is on the house and surroundings, as snakes try to stay close to their territory,” Kitty van Laviere, the municipality's spokeswoman, told NBC News. She added that the local community has reacted with remarkable calm: “So far we have received very few calls of worried locals."

— Andy Eckardt