'Dangerous' Venomous Snake Loose in Texas Neighborhood Following 'Cage Malfunction'

A venomous snake has been reported missing in Grand Prairie, Texas, after it got loose from a resident's home following a "cage malfunction."

In a statement on Tuesday, Grand Prairie Animal Services confirmed that a West African banded cobra was found missing from its enclosure by its owner at around 5:00 p.m.

The agency said that officials responded to the property in the 1800 block of Cherry Street in Grand Prairie at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, as "animal Services, the owner, and a venomous snake apprehension professional actively searched for the snake inside and outside of the residence through the night with no success."

The organization said that the snake is permitted for ownership by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, but confirmed that it is "venomous" and "dangerous" in a warning.

"Residents who live in the area and see any type of snake believed to be the missing cobra, are asked to call 911 immediately," the agency wrote in the warning that was posted to its website at around midday on Wednesday.

Tre Mat, the owner of the missing snake, told ABC affiliate WFAA that his pet got loose from the in-house aquarium it was kept in after a "cage malfunction," adding that "it only took a couple minutes. I'm doing everything I can to help retrieve the snake."

Grand Prairie Police Officer Mark Beseda told the local outlet that the department has not deal with a West African banded cobra before and revealed that "this is something new for us and frankly, it put our officers on the edge.

"We're out there walking in the grass, around the home wondering is my next step going to be on a poisonous snake."

He warned local residents that "the snake is possibly outside of that home. They need to know that it is extremely dangerous, extremely aggressive, and if they see a snake, any snake that they believe to be a cobra they need to call 911 immediately and keep their distance."

The Grand Prairie Police Department (GPPD) has partnered with the Grand Prairie Fire Department as part of its response to the missing snake, with the agency alerting area hospitals to the incident and initiating "a protocol with Parkland Hospital to treat this type of snake bite in event of a human encounter."

GPPD has also been in contact with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to put in policies and procedures related to a missing venomous snake in a residential area.

It is common for snakes to go missing from their cages in residential properties, as the reptiles are often discovered in unusual places, including last week in the vents of a bus in Canada.

Snakes have also recently been discovered in a child's toy basket and wrapped around the engine of a car, but no one was reported as being injured in those incidents.

Newsweek has contacted Grand Prairie Animal Services for comment.

West African Banded Cobra snake
A photo of a West African Banded Cobra snake provided by Grand Prairie Animal Services. One of the snakse has been reported missing in Grand Prairie, Texas, after it became loose from a resident’s home following a “cage malfunction.” Grand Prairie Animal Services