(CHAPEL HILL, N.C.) — A North Carolina man is now fighting for his life after he was bitten by a king cobra snake he apparently kept as a pet, according to officials.
After he sustained the snake bite on Monday evening, Ali Iyoob tried to drive to a hospital for help. But he didn’t make it very far, according to the 911 call he made, obtained by ABC News.
“My vision’s kinda blurry,” Iyoob said on the call. “I’m sweating like crazy. I’m like panicking. I feel nauseous.”
Iyoob then apparently pulled over on a highway, where paramedics found him nearly unconscious, officials for Orange County Emergency Services told ABC station WTVD-TV in Raleigh-Durham. He was rushed to University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, officials added.
Iyoob remains in critical condition this afternoon, UNC Health Care spokesman Tom Hughes told ABC News.
King cobras are the world’s longest venomous snakes and can grow up to 18 feet, according to National Geographic. They can deliver enough venom in a bite to kill 20 people or an elephant.
Officers with Orange County Animal Services are currently working in coordination with several other agencies to remove the king cobra and around 20 other snakes Iyoob apparently was keeping as his house, communications specialist with the agency, Andi Morgan, told ABC News. She said further information would be made available at a later time.
In a statement released Tuesday, the agency said that its staff was “working closely” with other agencies to to determine if any state statues were violated.
“If a violation is confirmed, Animal Services will coordinate with those organizations to identify, seize, and care for the reptiles,” the statement said. “If no state violation is present, Animal Services will work internally to devise the best plan for the removal of the snakes. County ordinance does not permit the keeping of venomous or constricting snakes inside Orange County.”
Animal Services officials added it had “no reason to believe there is a reason for public safety concerns.”
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