CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – A man bitten by a cobra Monday night in Orange County has improved to fair condition.
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 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 Riverbank Zoo in Columbia, South Carolina.
Bob Marotto, director of Animal Services in Orange County, said Monday authorities are working with the North Carolina Zoo and the Museum of Natural Sciences to remove and safely house Iyoob’s snakes.
Marotto said an administrative search warrant has been served at Iyoob’s home.
Authorities completed identifying and cataloging the snakes Wednesday afternoon.
Officials worked for six hours to remove a total of 60 animals from Iyoob’s home, including 18 venomous snakes and 16 nonvenomous snakes.
Two of the 16 nonvenomous snakes were constrictors and they will be held at the North Carolina Zoological Park.
Only one King Cobra was found, but five other kinds of cobras were also in Iyoob’s home.
Other animals at Iyoob’s home included a caiman, two turtles, five chickens, eight chicks, four quail, four fish plus a cat and a dog.
Officials removed the dog and cat first before the other animals and were taken to the Animal Services Center.
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.