GA to inspect Atlanta zoo after rattlesnake escape

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia wildlife officials will inspect an Atlanta zoo after a venomous rattlesnake was able to escape and slither around a city neighborhood.

Zoo staff noticed the female tiger rattlesnake was missing during a routine check late Friday. It was found dead Monday after a nearby property owner killed it.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Lauren Curry said Tuesday that an inspection team will be sent to Zoo Atlanta in the next week or two to investigate the escape. Zoo officials have said a staff member did not properly secure a cage door.

Curry said the snake's escape violates the zoo's state-issued permit to hold wild animals. Authorities have not decided whether the zoo will face any penalties.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.