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Egyptian Cobra still missing from Bronx Zoo


Egyptian Cobra still missing from Bronx Zoo

Jorge Hernandez March 29, 2011

A tiny but deadly Egyptian cobra that disappeared on Friday, March 25 from the Bronx Zoo in New York is still missing.

The zoo's director, James Breheny, issued a statement with the following comments:

"The difficulty is that the 20-inch, pencil-thin snake, which is months old and weighs less than 3 ounces, has sought out a secure hiding spot within the Reptile House. …As this may take days or even weeks, daily updates should not be expected."

While official updates may not come on a daily basis, someone has already set up a Twitter account for the snake called BronxZoosCobra.

According to CBS News, one of the latest tweets under the hash tag #snakeonthetown says, "Leaving Wall Street. These guys make my skin crawl."

Officials have since closed the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo out of caution. They said they believe that the cobra is still hiding inside the building.

According to the New York Times, the Egyptian cobra preys mostly on toads and birds, using fatal venom that leads to respiratory failure. While they are deadly animals, they usually do not attack humans unless provoked.

"The actual danger in a situation like this is very low. These aren't animals that view people as meals," Rulon W. Clark, a San Diego State University herpetologist, told the news source.

However, until the snake is found, officials will remain on alert. Legend has it that Cleopatra died from an Egyptian cobra, otherwise known as an asp.

"Neurotoxin is the main lethal component of the cobra venom. It binds to a receptor on the muscle, therefore preventing the nerve impulses to induce muscle contraction, leading to the cessation of breathing, and death," Zoltan Takacs, a herpetologist, told The National Geographic.