News of an Egyptian cobra that escaped from the Bronx zoo has captured the world’s attention. There is no real danger, as the building the reptiles are enclosed in is too well sealed for the snake to make it outside. However, that has not decreased the fascination with the 20-inch long fugitive.
Creature escapes causing minds to be lost
Sometime on Saturday, March 26, a juvenile female Egyptian Cobra about 20 inches in length and as big around as a pencil went missing from the reptile enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, according to CNN. The Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo has remained closed since the escape, according to the Christian Science Monitor, in case the snake is still in the building. The Egyptian Cobra, or Naja haje, is among the deadliest snakes on earth, and an adult human can die within minutes of being bitten. Cobra venom is a potent neurotoxin and usually causes death by respiratory failure.
Snake takes to Twitter
Shortly after the news spread that the creature had escaped, a Bronx Zoo Cobra account appeared on Twitter. The snake’s “tweets” are tagged with the meta-tag “#snakeonthetown,” and are rife with sarcastic pop culture references and mentions of famous New York City locations. For instance, one Tweet on the @BronxZooCobra page read:
“enjoying a cupcake @magnoliabakery. This is going straight to my hips. Oh, wait. I don’t have hips. Yesss!”
The “snake” even took shots at Charlie Sheen and Donald Trump, saying:
“Dear @CharlieSheen, know what’s better than tiger’s blood? Cobra Venom. #winning.”
“Donald Trump is thinking of running for president?! Don’t worry, I’ll handle this. Where is Trump Tower exactly?”
The author of the page, according to ABC, has only provided a Gmail account for the page, and there is also a fake Bronx Zoo Keeper that the snake is antagonizing.
Snake in the grass
Cobras in the wild are no laughing matter, but the escaped Bronx cobra is not likely to attack anyone unless provoked, according to Fox News. Also, the Reptile House building is secure enough to keep the snake contained. If the cobra did manage to make it into the outside world, it would not likely survive for very long. New York is a temperate zone and just exiting the throes of a fairly cold winter. A reptile from a sub-tropical desert is not likely to find it very hospitable.
Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/03/29/catch-deadly-runaway-cobra/
Bronx Zoo Cobra: http://twitter.com/#!/BronxZoosCobra
Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Latest-News-Wires/2011/0328/Bronx-Zoo-cobra-vanishes-reptile-house-closed
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