Inside Dragon Ranch, The Home Of Orlando’s Once Escaped King Cobra
The man who owns the king cobra that was on the loose for a little over a month is fighting to keep it and his other venomous snakes. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission wants to revoke Mike Kennedy’s license to keep venomous reptiles.
A king cobra has enough venom in one bite to kill twenty people. A woman found the king cobra, who the public named Elvis, in her garage under a dryer, not far from Kennedy’s Dragon Ranch.
Kennedy said he has made changes to his snake cages following Elvis’ escape.
“We built a whole new cage out of much, much better materials, thicker glass, more wire on the vents, double layered, everything’s screwed instead of nails. I mean just double redundancy on everything and even the building itself is snake proof,” said Kennedy.
When the king cobra escaped, nearby Clarcona Elementary was on alert. Kennedy and his wife said they moved to this agricultural piece of property so that they wouldn’t be in the middle of a regular neighborhood.
“We live out here in the middle of like 150 acres of dense woods, we only own this five-acre parcel, but it’s 150 acres of woods all around us. That school is through a neighborhood out the other side, cross those railroad tracks and when we bought this piece of property none of that even existed, that school wasn’t even a thought yet,” said Kennedy.
He graduated from UCF with a degree in zoology. He says his fascination with reptiles started when he was a kid. “I was extremely interested in dinosaurs when I was a little kid. When I was 8, 9 years old, I read every paleontology book in the Anchorage Public Library,” said Kennedy.
Hear Kennedy’s entire interview with 90.7’s Crystal Chavez by clicking the player at the top of this post.
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