Great-grandmother, 73, strikes, killing cobra slithering in her Pennsylvania backyard with a shovel

Updated: June 26, 2019 01:06 PM

A Pennsylvania great-grandmother is being heralded by her neighbors after she killed a cobra slithering in her backyard with a shovel.

Falls Township resident Kathy Kehoe, 73, suspected something was wrong when she heard the blue jays surrounded her home squawking frantically, she told ABC Philadelphia station WPVI.


"I knew right away" it was a snake, she said.

When Kehoe stepped into her garden to investigate what kind of snake it was, the blue jays flew away and she noticed the spot on the back of its head.

She realized she was dealing with a cobra after she nudged the reptile's tail, prompting it to stand up and spread it's hood. It measured in at 4 to 5 feet, she told the station.

Kehoe then ran inside to put shoes on, and when she came back out, the cobra was on the other side of her home. She snapped two photos before deciding to get rid of the animal herself.

"And I was like, 'This animal can't be here. It's a poisonous reptile,'" she said. "...There's little kids here."

Kehoe demonstrated how she used the end of the shovel to do "the deed," killing the cobra.

"I was just concerned for everybody else because not everyone would know," she said.

The snake may have escaped from a neighboring building, where animal control officers removed 20 venomous snakes, including 12 cobras, in March, WPVI reported.

Kehoe's neighbors sung her praises regarding the bravery she displayed.

"She's a bada--," Alise Kaplan told WPVI, adding that it is "incredibly scary" that a cobra was running loose on the property.

Dr. Susan Tyson-Pello of the Mount Laurel Animal Hospital recommended that those who encounter venomous snakes leave the creatures alone and contact authorities. Most snake bites occur when someone tries to attack or capture one, she told WPVI.

The remains of the cobra were turned over to a wildlife commission for examination, WPVI reported.

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