The star of Discovery Channel's “Airplane Repo,” Mike Kennedy, says the outrage over his missing his eight-foot King Cobra snake has taken him aback.
“For someone who has adamantly protected wildlife for over 20 years I feel crucified by this,” Kennedy told FOX411. “It makes you feel like Cecil the Lion's hunter. I’m the guy the county goes to fix problems, and now to be the problem is devastating. I’m a wildlife conservationist. “
On Wednesday, Kennedy’s exotic pet escaped from his Orange County home when a tree fell on the house and upset its habitat. Local schools shut down, and a massive search -- which even has a social media hashtag #Cobrawatch -- ensued.
“We haven’t found it yet," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) rep Katie Purcell told FOX411. "Law enforcement and biologists trained in handling snakes are looking for it. We are going to folk’s homes in the area since yesterday and alerting them. We are also posting updates on our Facebook page.”
Kennedy, who is taking part in the search, said the community’s fears are misplaced.
“The community is being over-the-top in their reaction. He (the snake) would not crawl onto the school grounds,” Kennedy said. “There are big rattlesnakes in Florida. He would never do that. I would hate to see anything happen to him. “
However Terry Phillip, Curator of Reptiles at The Black Hills Reptile Gardens in South Dakota, says King Cobra snakes are very dangerous.
"The King Cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world [with] one of the most dangerous snake bites," Phillip said. "In Florida there is an anti-venom in Miami Dade Fire and Rescue – Venom 1 – but that’s in Miami, and that’s a ways away from Orlando, and you wouldn’t survive long enough to get the anti-venom. The King Cobra bite is one of the most difficult bites to survive."
Kennedy however assures that he does have the anti-venom.
“Venomous snakes are not pets. This snake is not a pet but a rescue,” Kennedy said. “ They are rescues that are legally sanctioned from the state of Florida. I did the right thing legally by reporting that he was missing, but what is the incentive for the next guy to do the right thing now?
WFTV reports that in 2001 the reality TV star had another snake escape. It was killed when a homeowner found it in his garage and shot it.
The FWC is asking for citizens in help while they search the area. Should anyone spot the serpent they should alert officials via their hotline 888-404-3922, and are warned to not approach the animal.
FOX411 reached out to Discovery for comment but they declined.