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Hunt For Deadly Albino Cobra After Dog Bitten
Animal control officers are hunting a highly venomous snake that bit a dog before disappearing in a Los Angeles neighbourhood.
Residents in Thousand Oaks have been handed flyers by the police, warning them to keep their pets indoors and the doors closed while the search for the rare albino monocle cobra continues.
"Do not approach it, do not try to capture it, do not try to kill it," said Brandon Dowling, a Los Angeles County spokesman.
An antivenom has been found should it be necessary, he added.
Alfred Alguirre, an animal control officer, told the Los Angeles Times that one bite from the cobra can lead to death within an hour.
Snake expert Bo Slyapich said the cobra will bite if cornered.
"They will defend themselves," he told KCBS.
"It we scare it, startle it, step on it - it will bite."
The dog, called Tiko, was bitten on Monday and taken to an animal hospital in critical condition, but was now said to be recovering and fine.
Anyone who spots the cobra has been urged to call the police and warned not to approach it.
Cobras, which can grow to more than four feet long, are generally illegal to own in California.