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      Gaboon Viper still thought to be on the loose

      By Gregory Woods gwoods@abcnews4.com

      CHARLESTON, S. C. (WCIV) -- Four days have passed and officials have still had no luck in finding one of world's most venomous snakes the Gaboon Viper. The snake is thought to be on the loose in Mt. Pleasant.

      "It's not like your typical rattlesnake that will bite you and let you go," said Lejon Roberson, owner of Roberson's Reptiles. "It will bite you and hold you until it releases all of its venom."

      Roberson said the snake can grow up to four feet long and is only found in Africa.

      Raymond Covington, who has worked with reptiles for 25 years, says protecting yourself from the snake can be difficult because its camouflage markings make it harder for the naked eye to see.

      "You will not see him until he strikes you and you'll feel the pain," said Covington, owner of Raymond Covington's Nuisance, Wildlife and Reptile Removal.

      The mystery of the missing Gaboon came to light last week when its skin was found outside of a Mt. Pleasant apartment complex.

      Until it's found, Roberson says to beware.

      "Don't try to pick it up, don't try to kill it, and you'll have a better chance of not getting bit," said Roberson.

      In Mt. Pleasant, the Gaboon Viper is illegal to own.{}

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