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Airplane Repo Star's King Cobra Found Alive

The 8-foot king cobra escaped after a storm damaged its enclosure.

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Airplane Repo reality star Mike Kennedy’s 8-foot king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) has been found, apparently in pretty bad shape. A woman was putting clothes in her dryer around 11 p.m. October 7 when she heard a hissing sound coming from underneath the dryer, according to Fox News. She called Orange County Animal Services, which determined it was a king cobra and captured the snake. The snake was confirmed to be the missing king cobra via a microchip implanted in the reptile. 

"We are so relieved," Valerie Kennedy told Fox News. "This has been so difficult to go through as a family, and it has really taken a toll." The Kennedy’s live about a half mile from the woman’s home and are grateful that the snake was found. The snake escaped its enclosure September 2 and the search was called off September 22. Winter was just around the corner and if the snake hadn’t found a warm place to shelter, it may have not survived, she said. 


Mike Kennedy pleaded not guilty just this week for failing to notify authorities immediately when he noticed the snake missing, a misdemeanor. Kennedy is an experienced snake keeper and exotic animal rescuer who has the proper permit to keep the snake, and is licensed and bonded to care for exotic animals.

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Kennedy’s five acre property is a refuge for exotic animals and are not his pets, he told News 13. In addition to the king cobras that he keeps on the property, he also keeps crocodiles, alligators, other snakes and a leopard. He has permits for all of the animals and says the publicity surrounding the escape of the king cobra has been tough on him and his family. Many of the snakes on his property were seizures that were brought to him by the local police departments. 

"We're thankful," Valerie Kennedy said. "We're thankful for law enforcement and what everyone's done for us."

John Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata