Pet cobra gives its owner the slip

Residents of a Dutch village are treading carefully after learning that a highly poisonous cobra may be slithering around in their neighbourhood.

Dutch villagers warned to shut doors and windows

Cobras are highly venomous snakes, but Dutch authorities says an antivenin is available if somebody is bitten. (AFP/Getty Images)

Residents of a Dutch village are treading carefully Friday after learning that a highly poisonous cobra may be slithering around in their neighbourhood.

Authorities in the village of Made warned residents to keep their doors and windows shut. The snake's owner reported it missing Thursday morning. It was not immediately clear whether the snake had been kept legally. 

The local municipality says citizens are allowed to leave their homes, but should remain alert as a bite from the 70-centimetre Cape cobra – usually found only in South Africa – can be deadly.

The statement warned: "Don't approach the snake. The animal could become aggressive."

The municipality, 100 kilometres south of Amsterdam, says an antivenin is available if somebody is bitten.

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