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North Carolina man bitten by pet cobra in critical condition

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Ali Iyoob

A man bitten by a cobra is being treated at UNC Hospitals, officials told ABC11 Tuesday.

Tom Hughes, spokesperson for UNC Hospitals, said Ali Iyoob is in the Intensive Care Unit after being brought in Monday night.

Iyoob is listed in critical condition.

EMS officials said Iyoob was bitten at his home and the snake was apparently a pet. Iyoob's Facebook profile picture shows him handling a cobra.

Iyoob was trying to get to the hospital around 9:15 Monday evening and was about 10 minutes away when he, or someone who may have been driving him, called 911 for help.

EMS workers found him on Hwy 54 at Timothy Lane.

Orange County Animal Services said Tuesday that it has been to Iyoob's home where he has a reptile collection.

"From the information we have received from others working on the case, we have every reason to believe that the reptiles are secured inside enclosures and are not at large," it said in a statement.

Officials also said it is not legal to possess venomous snakes inside Orange County per local ordinance.

"Staff members are working closely with the Sheriff's Office, the Office of the County Attorney, the County Manager's Office, and others about this case. Animal Services is working with the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and the NC Zoological Park to determine if there is a violation of NC General Statute. If a violation is confirmed, Animal Services will coordinate with those organizations to identify, seize, and care for the reptiles. 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," said Orange County Animal Services.

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