Man Bitten By Cobra Breathing On His Own; Amputation Still Possible

WNCN photo of Ali Iyoob with a snake.
WNCN photo of Ali Iyoob with a snake.

Chapel Hill, NC (WNCN) – The parents of a man bitten by a cobra Monday night in Orange County said he is still in critical condition but is showing great progress.

Ali Iyoob was bitten on the wrist by a cobra in what his parents said was a “freak accident.” It is still to early to determine if amputation will be required.

Iyoob was taken to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill where anti-venom was administered to help save him.

Iyoob’s parents said Wednesday he is breathing and moving on his own.

They said their son is extremely passionate about animals and all the animals in his home were from his involvement with the Reptile Rescue of Carolinas, a group they said he started.

After studying at the University of North Carolina (UNC), he got a job as a beekeeper for a company called “Eurofins Scientific”.

They say he was the type of person who would go remove snakes and other reptiles from people’s homes and then secure them and take care of them.

The anti-venom administered to Iyoob came from Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.

NC man bitten by cobra in critical condition; anti-venom administered

Bob Marotto, director of Animal Services in Orange County, said Monday that Iyoob had more than 30 snakes in his possession and they are are secured. Orange County authorities are working with the North Carolina Zoo and the Museum of Natural Sciences to remove and safely house Iyoob’s snakes. Officials said about 20 of the snakes are venomous.

WNCN photo of Ali Iyoob with a cobra.
WNCN photo of Ali Iyoob with a cobra.

Marotto said an administrative search warrant has been served at Iyoob’s home.

Auhorities have completed identifying and cataloging the non-venomous snakes and they are currently in the process of doing the same with the venomous snakes.

Only one King Cobra was found but five other kinds of cobras were in Iyoob’s home.

They have experts handling and transporting of snakes.

Orange County authorities expect the removal of the animals to take most of Wednesday.

WNCN photo of authorities removing snakes from the home of Ali Iyoob.
WNCN photo of authorities removing snakes from the home of Ali Iyoob.

The venomous snakes will be delivered to agents with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences where they will be kept at an undisclosed location.

They say it’s too early to tell if any of the snakes will be killed, they’re trying their best to find the snakes a new home.

A representative with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences says they’re looking at a site in South Carolina to house them.

On Tuesday, Marotto said Orange County authorities are working with the district attorney to determine if charges will be filed against Iyoob.

“It’s permissible in some circumstances to keep venomous and constrictive snakes but you have to meet certain requirements and the reasonable suspicious we had was that those were not being met and we’ve been able to confirm that,” Marotto said.

His friends have setup a GoFundMe page for medical expenses.

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