A running cobra sows fear in a German city

Evacuated apartments, people called to close doors and windows: a cobra, not found since Sunday, sows fear for several days in Herne, a city in western Germany.
Despite intense research, the snake, a particularly venomous monocle cobra, had still not been spotted on Tuesday, local authorities said.

The reptile, whose length could exceed one meter, escaped Sunday from an apartment in Herne, a medium-sized town in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Four buildings in the neighborhood where the owner lives have been evacuated.

“We assume that this snake most likely stayed in the building” of its owner, said Tuesday to the press one of the leaders of the municipality, Johannes Chudziak.

A moult (skin) of the reptile has also been found in the basement of the building in question.

“So we made the decision to maintain the security measures taken on Sunday, that is to say that four buildings will remain locked and will be checked regularly to detect any trace of the snake”, a- he specified.

In particular, the authorities have poured flour into the building in the hope that the reptile will leave traces that put the investigators on its track.

Calls for vigilance have been made to the rest of the population, who are being asked to close doors and windows. “If possible, stay on paved paths and avoid walking in tall grass or in dense vegetation,” also urged the local scholar.

About twenty other snakes were seized from the owner of the cobra.

The animal, whose scientific name is “Naja kaouthia” and whose bite is deadly, is native to Asia.

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