Local News

Orange County man bitten by cobra charged with owning illegal animals

Posted May 25, 2016

— 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.


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  • Robert Fotch Jr May 26, 2016
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    As if getting bit by a deadly snake and staying multiple days in the hospital wasn't enough punishment. Cut the guy a break for goodness sake. Another notch on your belt isn't that important is it?

  • Amanda Townsend May 25, 2016
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    Good. I am glad that he is okay, but that was just dumb for lack of a better word. And cobras aren't sold in pet stores!

  • Chase Truman May 25, 2016
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    Ummmm, if a store sold cobras they'd be shut down in a heartbeat. Where have you ever found a cobra or venomous snake in a pet shop dude? Really???

  • Sara Hauser May 25, 2016
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    • N.C. SESS. LAWS §160A-187 - Possession or harboring of dangerous animals.

    A city may by ordinance regulate, restrict, or prohibit the possession or harboring within the city of animals which are dangerous to persons or property. No such ordinance shall have the effect of permitting any activity or condition with respect to a wild animal which is prohibited or more severely restricted by regulations of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

  • John Paschall May 25, 2016
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    Is this the only picture you have?

  • Eric Gee May 25, 2016
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    this is crazy, I don't understand how can you charge some one with owning illegal pets and animals when there is varius stores that sales these animals/pets. im pretty sure, it might be a slap on the wrist and pay cost of courts I will love to see where on the book that's its illegal to have these pet or is everyone going alone making up there rules