Christopher Gifford, a TikTok influencer, is allegedly the person responsible for unleashing an extremely venomous zebra cobra snake in the suburbs. The snake can spit venom at a distance of up to nine feet. The venom can then cause tissue damage, as well as a fair amount of swelling, pain, and blistering of the skin, or more severe symptoms, like blindness or death. When they feel threatened, their go-to move is to spit venom at the eyes if possible. It’s particularly dangerous for children, cats, and dogs. While the reptile has now been safely removed by authorities, it was a terrifying few days for the neighborhood after one resident spotted it on their porch, called 911, and an alert went out. The block where the snake was believed to be roaming was closed off while officials decided what to do to catch the creature, who is native to drier parts of Africa, like Namibia.
You can see the zebra cobra snake in the footage below at the 0:36 mark, where the video is set to start. You’ll also notice that while police and wildlife officials are there, they also have EMS at the ready in case of an incident. Fortunately, the snake was recovered safely.
It is legal to keep dangerous snakes as pets in North Carolina, but there are a number of regulations. Among those is that the reptile absolutely must be kept in an escape-proof cage. Also, authorities must be immediately notified in the event of an escape. In this case, authorities were notified by a neighbor who spotted it. It’s unknown if the pet owner was aware of the escape, the closure they were keeping it in, or if they are currently in trouble with the police for breaking any rules, though it’s been reported that reptiles are being removed from the property.
Currently, the public believes they know who the snake owner is responsible for the zebra cobra. A TikTok influencer famous for his love of snakes in Raleigh, North Carolina lives on the street where the zebra cobra was found. Currently, the police are removing many reptiles from a home on that street. It would be an unnerving coincidence if one of Gifford’s neighbors was responsible and also had a home full of dangerous snakes, however, the police haven’t confirmed the identity of the snake owner. Christopher Gifford is famous on TikTok for his home full of snakes. Gifford currently has 467k followers on the platform. He is 21 years old and enjoys posting videos of reptiles online. Frequently, he shows off his bites after being bitten by his pets or random snakes he finds in the woods. You can see one of his recent Instagram videos below.
People living in the neighborhood had a strange few days. They claim they were updated about the zebra cobra situation via social media and got emails from their homeowners’ associations about the snake. While some were quite terrified and couldn’t sleep at night, others were responsibly concerned about their children and pets, while others managed to find some humor in the strangeness of the entire event.
Strangely, there are quite a few stories out there about large, foreign snakes being found in unexpected places. Often, they’re spotted and recovered before anyone is hurt, but sometimes things happen.