An Egyptian cobra rears it’s head
NEW YORK — The Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo was closed Saturday after an adolescent Egyptian cobra went missing from an off-exhibit enclosure.
Zoo staff said they immediately closed and secured the building after learning the snake was missing. Egyptian cobras are poisonous.
Officials at the zoo said they were confident that the snake, about 20-inches long, was confined to an isolated, non-public area of the building. Snakes typically seek closed-in spaces, and are uncomfortable in open areas.
“We are informing the public out of an abundance of caution, and will continue to take whatever steps necessary to ensure public safety,” the zoo said in a statement.
The Reptile House will be closed indefinitely, zoo staff said.
Monday, March 28th 2011, 5:02 PM
News of a snake on the loose might be keeping ophidiophobes away from the Bronx Zoo - but not Donna Henson.
The Atlanta woman made a special stop at the zoo Monday, hoping she would be on the scene if the venomous Egyptian cobra was caught.
"I'm an animal lover," said Henson, 55, who grew up in the Fordham Road section and was visiting her old neighborhood.
"I love them all, even snakes."
Her brother, Frank Cioffi, 56, of Tampa, Fla., accompanied her to the Bronx - reluctantly.
"I'm not crazy about snakes," he confessed. "I'm a little anxious. But this is my sister's birthday present."
There were no snakes at all on exhibit yesterday.
The Reptile House, where the 20-inch adolescent cobra disappeared from a secure off-exhibit area, was closed to the public.
The zoo's staffers continued their hunt for the slitherer, which they believed was inside the building.
"It's exciting -- I'm not scared at all," said Yves Chardonnet, 39, a tourist from Paris who had to talk a friend into joining him.
"Of course I'm scared," said the pal, Alain Coat, 38. "You don't want to be bitten."
Pamela Berberich-Boston wheeled a stroller with her 9-month-old son, Liam, outside the Reptile House.
"I'm totally fine with snakes," said the publishing-house sales rep from Upper Saddle River, N.J.
"I believe the zoo. If the zoo says the snake's confined, I'm not afraid at all."
Meanwhile, an anonymous wit opened a Twitter account in the name of "an Egyptian cobra out on the town" that quickly drew more than 400 followers.
"Dear NYC, Apples and snakes have gone together since the beginning," the fake snake tweeted. "I should take in a Broadway show. Anyone heard anything about this 'Spiderman' musical?"