Bronx Zoo Still Missing Its Deadly Cobra, Spoof Twitter Page Attracks Thousands of Followers (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on March 30, 2011
It was reported late last week that a deadly cobra is missing from the Bronx Zoo. A spoof Twitter account for the missing snake was set up, then taken down.
Using live mice, experts are trying to lure the venomous Egyptian cobra out of its hiding place, but there are many places the fugitive snake can hide. The Reptile House at the zoo has been closed until the snake can be captured.
The venom from this snake is so potent it can kill an adult human in 15 minutes and an elephant in 3 hours.
Reported by NY Times, What a Sign to See at the Zoo: Cobra Is Missing:
Visitors to the Bronx Zoo were greeted with locked doors when they tried to enter the reptile exhibit this past weekend, and with good reason: a venomous snake was on the loose.
“The World of Reptiles is closed today,” a sign explaining the closing said. “Staff observed an adolescent Egyptian cobra missing from an off-exhibit enclosure on Friday.”
The Egyptian cobra, a favorite of snake charmers — and probably the asp whose venom Cleopatra used to commit suicide — is a dark snake with a narrow hood, and grows up to two yards in length. (The missing animal was only 20 inches, a zoo employee said.) Native to Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, it usually preys on toads and birds, not humans, but zookeepers notified the public in an abundance of caution. The snake’s toxins can cause respiratory failure.
The director of the zoo expressed confidence that the snake was still in the reptile house and said the snake would probably avoid open areas. “To understand the situation, you have to understand snakes,” Jim Breheny, the director, said in a written statement. “Upon leaving its enclosure, the snake would feel vulnerable and seek out a place to hide and feel safe. When the snake gets hungry or thirsty, it will start to move around the building. Once that happens, it will be our best opportunity to recover it.”
Until the creature slinks into view, zoo visitors should plan to skip the reptile exhibit, and maybe keep an eye on their ankles.
“Of course it happened on the day I come,” said Andrea Regan, 26, of Granby, Conn. “I wasn’t scared, but snakes aren’t my favorite thing, so I wasn’t too excited about that.”
Her friend was excited, however. “I wanted to see it, take a picture with it and run,” said Nick Christiana, 27, from Bristol, Conn.
From NECN, Where could the missing Egyptian Cobra be?:
(NECN) – The search continues at the Bronx Zoo for an Egyptian Cobra that somehow got out of its enclosure.
The Cobra that’s missing is very young and still on the smaller side. While zoo officials believe it’s still in the reptile house, there are lots of places for it to hide.
Worried staff at the Bronx Zoo have resorted to setting traps baited with live mice to catch a cobra missing for five days.
The snake escaped from the zoo’s Reptile House on Saturday and while desperate officials search for the fugitive, the cobra is apparently alive and well, according to his very own Twitter page.
The deadly venomous viper appears to have been keeping himself busy, with the spoof page, named @BronxZoosCobra, providing a running commentary as to his whereabouts and has built up over 118,000 followers, with the number growing.
The page is written in the voice of the Egyptian cobra, who escaped from the zoo’s Reptile House on Saturday.
Workers have been searching for the missing snake without success.
Rattlesnake handler Glenn Johnson told the New York Post the live mice were unlikely to end the search for the snake.
‘Traps almost never work,’ he said. ‘I wouldn’t want to be looking for a cobra. Rattlesnakes are pussycats compared to them.’
The snake’s spoof Twitter account was suspended on Tuesday, but ‘he’ appears to have returned, posting messages about singing karaoke and sliding into apartments.