Raleigh, North Carolina -- Chris Gifford, a TikTok-famous snake handler with over half a million followers, sought forgiveness as he spoke for the first time in an interview about the deadly cobra that escaped from his care in November 2020.

Gifford opened up about the incidents that followed the escape of the African zebra cobra, which remained missing for several months before it was captured in July 2021. The reptile was found on the front porch of a house in North Carolina, WRAL reported Wednesday.

The 22-year-old was charged with more than 40 misdemeanor charges, and ordered to pay hefty fines. He also had to surrender more than 75 reptiles that were in his care as a consequence, according to the New York Post.

The deadly zebra cobra is recognized for its ability to blind prey through the spitting of venom.

Gifford reportedly pled guilty in court for failing to inform authorities after his African zebra cobra escaped in 2020. He came out to the community to explain his reasons for not reporting the snake's escape.

"I was young and terrified. I still am young and terrified about the whole situation," Gifford told WRAL.

Narrating his side of the story, he told WRAL, he bought two African zebra cobras in November 2020. As part of the standard quarantine process, he'd kept them in separate compartments to prevent potential disease transmission from the new additions to the existing snakes.

However, one of the serpents went missing, when he checked their cages the following day.

Although, Gifford describes it as “this giant, ‘Oh c**p’ moment,” he was confident the snake had slithered into his parent's basement since there was no way it could have escaped the "fool-proof" room where he kept his pets, the outlet reported.

However, after a home search, he remained confident the cobra was still in the house. He also convinced his parents not to file a missing snake report, according to the New York Post.

He was certain of the fact the African snake would survive a North Carolina winter, even if it had gotten outside the house.

According to WRAL, the missing cobra was spotted about three streets over by the animal control who came knocking in the spring. Gifford denied it at first, but overwhelmed by guilt, he later informed animal control he was the cobra's owner.

He was made to pay hefty fines for the resources needed to track the cobra down. The seized snakes will now be used for research and the production of anti-venom, reported the New York Post.

He is also restricted from owning any venomous snakes until August. The snake tamer plans to collect snakes again, but not at his parents' home.

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