FWC seeks input on who should keep venomous snakes

Survey comes in wake of escaped king cobra

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Fish and Wildlife Commission is conducting a survey, asking the public who should be able to own venomous reptiles.

The move comes nearly one year after a king cobra owned by Discovery Channel celebrity Michael Kennedy escaped its enclosure, leading to a search that lasted more than one month.

"What's the real purpose of anyone having a venomous animal for a pet -- for a business even?" asked Ketron Brown, a neighbor of Kennedy.

Brown says he watched and waited last September as FWC workers and the public searched for the cobra.

He wonders why FWC still hasn't made a decision on whether Kennedy should lose his venomous reptiles.

News 6 found out his case is set for a hearing on Aug. 18.

Meantime, FWC's six-question survey asks the public if venomous reptiles belong in residential neighborhoods.

Question 4 asks, "What is your opinion of venomous reptiles being housed in a personal residence?"

Brown says he's concerned because none of his neighbors knew about the survey, and he's worried the ballot box may be stacked against him.

News 6 spoke with Kennedy Friday morning, and he had no comment on the survey.

He did agree with some of his neighbors on one thing -- he said he's frustrated it's taken so long for a decision on whether he can keep his reptiles.

To take FWC's survey, click here.

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