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Reptile handler's apprentice charged in escape of pet cobra

OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- The apprentice to a reptile handler has been charged with a misdemeanor weeks after a tan and yellow monocle cobra escaped from its enclosure in a Florida home.

Court papers filed earlier this month show that 28-year-old Ian Nesmith was charged with a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission code violation.

The cobra hasn't been seen since last month when it slipped out of its enclosure in a home in Ocala in north-central Florida.

Nesmith had been shadowing the snake's owner so he could get a license to handle poisonous or venomous reptiles and snakes.

Police say he opened the cover of the cage and the snake jumped at him and then slid away.

Wildlife officials say the apprentice shouldn't have been left alone in the sealed room.

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