It has been almost a week since a 20-inch female Egyptian cobra, or asp — yes, the kind of snake that Cleopatra used to kill herself — escaped from its enclosure in the Bronx Zoo. As the New York Times reports, zoo officials say that it may take weeks to find the snake who, they believe, is somewhere in the pipes and crannies of the snake house.
Said the zoo’s director, James J. Breheny, in a statement:
We understand the interest in this story and that everyone wants us to find the missing snake…Right now, it’s the snake’s game. At this point, it’s just like fishing; you put the hook in the water and wait. Our best strategy is patience, allowing her time to come out of hiding.
The M.I.A. asp has achieved celebrity status. Someone created a fake Twitter account, BronxZoosCobra, and has been posting (flickering) tongue in teeth updates to (as of this post’s writing) over 170,000 followers such as the following:
Does anyone know if the Whole Foods in Columbus Circle sells organic mice?
The snake is just a few months old and, while its venom is fatal, its usual prey is toads and birds, not humans. Experts says that such cobras are “generally averse to human contact and unlikely to bite unless they feel their lives are in peril.”
Just in case you were planning to visit the Bronx Zoo anytime soon.
Here’s hoping the snake is found very soon.
Photo by elvissa.