Note to Bronx’s Zoo: If you’re going to lose a snake, how about you don’t lose one of the most deadly snakes on the planet. It is being reported that a deadly Egyptian Cobra has escaped the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo, but they’re telling you not to worry. They, and I always wonder who “they” are, say the 20-inch snake probably hasn’t wandered that far from home. In fact they don’t think it has left the Reptile House, just its cage.
The guys in charge of the snake aren’t really saying how it got out of, what I would assume was an Houdini-proof enclosure, but it apparently slithered away last Friday and hasn’t been seen since. They have closed down the Reptile House while they search for the adolescent cobra, which can kill a human in 15 minutes with its venom if not treated. It can kill an elephant in less than 3 hours. Just saying, I don’t want to get bit by one of these, hell, I don’t even think I want to SEE one of these outside of an Houdini-proof enclosure.
And this is my favorite part, “they” tell you not to worry, because the nasty snake will only attack if provoked. In other words it won’t arbitrarily inject its lethal venom into you for kicks. It would rather save it for hunting food. It has to be worried that you’re trying to harm it. Like accidentally sitting on it, or stepping on it, or getting to close to it, or whatever else you think this snake is thinking will make it feel “threatened.” Slowly back away, they say, and leave it alone. But just so you know, this snake can hit you from probably three feet. Just be glad it’s not one of them “spitting” cobras. They can get you from 6.5 feet away.
For those of you in the Bronx, or planning on visiting in the real near future, here’s some tips on identifying this deadly snake. For one, if it’s like no snake you have ever seen in New York it’s probably “that” snake because it’s only found in North Africa and the Middle East. You ain’t there. If you’ve seen the movie Cleopatra, it’s “that” snake in “that” movie, the one she uses to commit suicide. The venom is a neurotoxin that stops the victim’s (that’s you) breathing and heartbeat. Oh, it’s one of them snakes with a hood and it hisses just before it strikes.
It is recommended that you view this snake with binoculars so “they” don’t want you getting too close. The only good thing about this snake is that it isn’t the King Cobra. That snake can get upwards of 15 feet. Our lost Egyptian Cobra only six feet, maybe as much as eight, but that’s rare. Remember though, it’s just a kid, not quite two feet yet.
If you live around the Bronx Zoo I’ve got two pieces of advice for you: Don’t believe them when “they” say it hasn’t left the building, and demand to find out how a deadly reptile can get away. Natural habitat cages are one thing, but didn’t we cover all the contingencies? WTF
I just remembered, when I was in high school, and my family was out-of-town on vacation (I was home alone.) someone drapped a three-foot Bull Snake over the front door knob of my house. Although I have my suspicions, who carries around a deceased three-foot Bull Snake so they can hang it on someones door? I’d still like to know who done that.
(Bronx Zoo photo courtesy Wikimedia by Staveen)