WOODCREST (CNS) - A report of a poisonous snake slithering across the lawn of a Woodcrest home turned out to be no cause for alarm, but it did add a little comic relief to a Riverside County animal control officer's routine, officials said today.
According to Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh, the agency received a call from a resident in the 17600 block of Log Hill Road Saturday, regarding a possible King Cobra making its way across a neighbor's lawn.
Animal control Officer Adam Haisten was sent to investigate and immediately spotted the supposed lethal snake on the grass. After carefully examining it from a safe distance, however, he relaxed.
``Although rather realistic ... up close, the blank expression and rubber teeth pretty much lowered the threat level to zero,'' Haisten said. ``I couldn't help but start laughing.''
The mean-looking but harmless rubber snake was left where it lay, and Haisten then called the concerned resident.
``I could hear her embarrassment, and she couldn't help to start laughing,'' the officer said. ``But she also was apologizing profusely. I am pretty sure I heard her husband in the background laughing hysterically.''
Haisten told the woman he understood how the mistake could be made, and he noted that it was ``better to be safe than sorry.''
According to Welsh, the Department of Animal Services has captured a number of exotic creatures over the years -- including a 15-foot Burmese python. However, cobras have not been in the mix.
For laughs, Haisten left a note on the fake snake owner's door, advising that the county had come by to seize it.
No citation was issued.