Egyptian Cobra
The holiday is over for the Bronx Zoo Cobra, as the snake was captured. Its Twitter feed remains, however. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Contrary to what fake Twitter pages may have you believe, the Bronx Zoo cobra was found in the same building where it went missing. A small Egyptian cobra went missing last week, the media lost its mind and a very funny Twitter account began. The real story about the snake, though, is a boring one.

Anticlimactic end to a media sensation

Despite the media attention, the story about the Bronx Zoo cobra is uneventful. The snake itself is a juvenile Egyptian cobra, about 20 inches in length and not much bigger in circumference than a pencil — about the size of three Twizzlers laid end to end. The snake got loose in the reptile enclosure that houses dangerous snakes, which is designed so that snakes cannot get outside, even if they get out of their cages. Zoo staff  cleared up some clutter, laid down wood chips with rodent scent and waited for the snake to appear, which it did, according to ABC. Less than a week after its escape, the Bronx Zoo cobra is back in a cage.

Fake snake causes online sensation

What really grabbed headlines was the fake Twitter account that a creative person or persons set up, though the identity of the people behind the Twitter phenom have so far remained anonymous. The fake Twitter account, “@BronxZoosCobra,” first tweeted on March 28 and issued semi-regular updates every few hours, name dropping celebrities and famous places in New York City. The account attracted nearly a quarter of a million followers and has apparently taken control of the Twitter feed and website of “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest. The snake also has a nemesis on the site, “@BronxZooKeeper,” who has been making remarks at the expense of the snake. There is already a Facebook campaign to get “Bronx Zoo’s Cobra to host SNL,” and a new twitter meta-tag has been invented related to the formerly wayward reptile, “#freethebronxzoocobra.”

Zoo keeps things realistic

Unlike the media, Bronx Zoo workers kept a cool head about the missing cobra. Once it was discovered the snake was out of its cage, according to CNN, the zoo shut the reptile enclosure to the public and waited for the snake to come out of hiding. The tiny reptile is now back in its cage. The Animal Planet television channel, according to USA Today, announced it will air a two-hour documentary about the snake called “Snake on the Town.” However, the publication date on the USA Today’s website for the announcement is April Fool’s Day. The Bronx Zoo is planning to have a naming contest for the errant reptile in the near future.




USA Today:

Bronx Zoo Cobra Twitter:!/BronxZoosCobra

Bronx Zoo Keeper:!/BronxZookeeper

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