Orange County man bitten by cobra charged with owning illegal animals
Posted May 25
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Police have charged an Orange County man who was bitten by a king cobra earlier this month with owning illegal animals.
Ali Iyoob, 21, called 911 on May 2 after he was bitten by the king cobra he owned. Iyoob survived the bite and was released from the hospital, but authorities charged him with violating animal ownership ordinances.
The seven misdemeanor charges include ownership of venomous and constricting snakes, crocodilians, and wild and dangerous animals. Orange County Animal Services removed more than 30 snakes—about half of them venomous—from Iyoob's home, according to previous reports.
Orange County law prohibits residents from “keeping, sheltering, feeding, harboring or taking care of any wild and dangerous animal.”
In the Orange County ordinance, reptiles (poisonous, crushing and giant) are listed as wild animals dangerous to persons and property. Anyone who violates the ordinance is subject to misdemeanor charges and a civil penalty of up to $50 per animal.
Exemptions to the ordinance include animals used for teaching and research purposes at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It’s unclear whether Iyoob’s snakes were being used for research purposes.
In total, 18 venomous snakes, 16 nonvenomous snakes, one caiman, two turtles, five chickens, eight chicks, four quail, four fish, one cat and one dog were removed from the home.
Iyoob is scheduled to appear in court on June 16.