Zoo prepares to release monocled cobra from quarantine

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SAN DIEGO — The monocled cobra brought to the San Diego Zoo after it got loose near Thousand Oaks a couple of months ago underwent a veterinary examination Thursday in preparation for its release from quarantine.

The cobra was placed in a tube to immobilize its head while veterinarians drew blood, took x-rays and checked its fangs, venom glands and heart. They determined the snake to be female.

The cobra eluded animal control authorities for four days in Ventura County before being captured and taken to the Los Angeles Zoo. No one claimed ownership, so the reptile was transported to the San Diego Zoo, which has anti-venom available.

The veterinarians determined that she’s in good health, is around 4 feet long and probably about 2 years old. If nothing unusual pops up in blood work results, the snake will be put on display in the Reptile House, according to the zoo.

Monocled cobras are native to Thailand and their venom is considered to be more deadly than that of their more famous cousin, the king cobra.