Exotic pet owner loses venomous snake license, wife still has permit

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WESH) – A man whose pet cobra had an Orange County neighborhood on edge when it escaped is told he can’t have more venomous snakes, but it seems there’s a catch.

“I’m still convinced he couldn’t have gotten out this building,” snake owner Mike Kennedy said earlier this year.

Kennedy’s king cobra, Elvis, got out of the building and was eventually found in a neighbor’s garage, but not before causing a stir in the neighborhood.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission stepped in, saying it was the third time Kennedy had lost a venomous snake, and also because he waited 24 hours to report it missing.

After several court hearings, FWC was able to revoke Kennedy’s license, and normally that would mean the venomous snakes and other exotic animals would have to be removed and relocated to a licensed facility within 30 days.

This Sunday marks 30 days, WESH 2 News was told, and the pets are still there.

“We’ve been following this story from the beginning because of the proximity to our house and our pets,” said Kennedy’s neighbor Ketron Brown.

Brown was initially relieved to hear about Kennedy’s license being revoked until he and his wife spoke with FWC officers.

“They said the animals would most likely remain on the premises,” Brown said.

An FWC spokesperson confirmed that Kennedy’s wife has a permit to possess and exhibit venomous snakes and that the reptiles would most likely remain at their current location.

“We were shocked. I guess if something were to happen to her license, then they could get a roommate or guest or friend or whatever, and enforcement would be pretty much impossible,” Brown said.

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