Reality Star Gets To Keep Cobras After Scare Last Year

Loophole Allows Reality Star To Keep Cobra

Despite a big scare last year when a deadly cobra escaped from a reality-TV star’s home, a loophole is allowing the star to keep deadly animals on his property.

It’s a legal loophole that has neighbors on edge. NBC4i.com reported that Florida Fish & Wildlife successfully revoked Mike Kennedy’s license, but because his wife has a license dangerous animals can remain at his Dragon Ranch Sanctuary.

It all started in late 2015 when Kennedy, the star of Discovery Channel’s “Airplane Repo”, announced an 8-foot king cobra had escaped from his sanctuary on North Apopka Vineland Road  in Florida sometime before September 1, 2015.

Phoot: Orlando Sentinel/ Discovery.
Phoot: Orlando Sentinel/ Discovery.

Kennedy returned from a two-day trip to find it missing and searched for it for 24 hours before notifying authorities. The snake was found under a neighbor’s dryer in their garage on October 7th.

After the incident wildlife officials made it clear that they wanted to revoke Kennedy’s owners’ license. Cobras are one of the deadliest snakes in the world and authorities acted swiftly to mete out punishment.

 

Kennedy contains a permit to keep potentially dangerous pets on the property. The Orlando Sentinel reported that he has had a number of violations in the past. He reportedly had at least one other king cobra and was licensed to own a Burmese python, a viper or rattlesnake and venomous lizards.

The star faced charges of keeping “captive wildlife in a manner and condition which resulted in escape from its enclosure…constituting a threat to public safety” and failing to “provide safe, secure, and proper housing for venomous reptiles in cages or enclosures by constructing those cages or enclosures from unauthorized materials…”

He also was charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report Elvis missing immediately.

“In Florida there is an anti-venom in Miami Dade Fire and Rescue – Venom 1 – but that’s in Miami, and that’s a ways away from Orlando, and you wouldn’t survive long enough to get the anti-venom. The King Cobra bite is one of the most difficult bites to survive,” saidTerry Phillip, the curator of reptiles at The Black Hills Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, SD, per Fox News.

At the time of Elvis’ escape Kennedy tried to calm the public saying the media attention was “over-the-top,” yet cobras have been known to kill elephants with one bite.

 

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Allison Leslie is a University of South Florida graduate with a bachelors degree in Mass Communications. She joined Genesis in 2016. With a passion for sports, Allison has interned with 620 WDAE, Pewter Report, Trifecta Team: St. Petersburg Bowl, Bullscast, and many other publications. Being a native to the Bay Area, she has followed and supported Tampa Bay teams her whole life.