Lifestyle Pets 'Dangerous' and Venomous Cobra Possibly on the Loose in Texas City, Officials Say The reptile, which has been identified as a venomous West African Banded Cobra snake, escaped from its enclosure in the residential area of Grand Prairie, Texas, earlier this week By Nicholas Rice Nicholas Rice Instagram Twitter Nicholas Rice is an Associate Editor for PEOPLE Magazine. He began working with the brand as an Editorial Intern in early 2020, before later transitioning to a freelance role, and then staff positions soon after. Nicholas writes and edits anywhere between 7 to 9 stories per day on average for PEOPLE, spanning across each vertical the brand covers. Nicholas has previous work experience with Billboard, POPSUGAR, Bustle and Elite Daily. When not working, Nicholas can be found playing with his 5 dogs, listening to pop music or eating mozzarella sticks. People Editorial Guidelines Published on August 5, 2021 02:58 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Wikimedia A venomous snake may be on the loose in Grand Prairie, Texas. Earlier this week, Grand Prairie Animal Services responded to a report of a missing snake from a resident in the area, according to a news release from the city. The snake's owner, Tre Mat, realized that his pet — identified as a venomous West African Banded Cobra snake — was missing from its enclosure around 5:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday. Alongside the owner, Grand Prairie Animal Services and "a venomous snake apprehension professional" searched for the reptile inside and outside Mat's home, the city said, but they could not find it. Mat told CBS 11 News that he believes the snake is dead and that the public has nothing to worry about. The news release stated that the man could own the venomous creature as it was permitted by the State of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Gigantic Black Snake Slithers Along Subway Platform in New York City: 'This Can't Be Real' Getty According to NBC 5, Mat, a self-proclaimed "snake enthusiast," was feeding the cobra a rat when he later left his home. "I left to go get food for my other animals down the street, and I came back, and the cage door was open by an inch. She must have found a way to open it up," he told the outlet. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Mat would not detail to NBC 5 how exactly he came about purchasing the dangerous animal, though he told the outlet there are "people" and "venomous shows" where one can obtain snakes. The owner also explained that the city removed two other snakes from his residence, including a pit viper. RELATED VIDEO: Cat Sees Snake and He's Shook Authorities are now imploring residents in the area to be on alert if the snake has survived. They said individuals should call 911 immediately if they spot the animal and should not approach or attempt to capture the snake themselves. "We've never dealt with a West African Banded Cobra before," Grand Prairie police officer Mark Beseda told ABC 8. "This is something new for us, and frankly, it put our officers on the edge." "We're out there walking in the grass, around the home wondering if my next step going to be on a poisonous snake," he added. The Grand Prairie Police Department (GPPD) and Grand Prairie Fire Department (GPFD) have made area hospitals aware of the snake's escape and how to treat a venomous cobra bite, if necessary. GPPD is also in contact with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Together, they will decide on future procedures for permitting venomous snakes in residential areas, the city said.