The deadly Egyptian cobra who went AWOL in New York City's Bronx Zoo and evaded zoo employees for six days is back in custody.
The snake was found Thursday morning in the zoo’s Reptile House and is resting comfortably and secure, Jim Breheny, director of the zoo, said at a news conference Thursday. The building will re-open and the snake will be put on exhibit once the zoo is sure it is healthy, he added.
“We had to give her a chance to feel secure and comfortable so she would come out,” Breheny said. “She looks in really good condition.”
The Reptile House closed Friday after the snake’s disappearance, and zoo staff conducted round-the-clock extensive searches throughout the building. The zoo has not changed any protocol since the cobra disappeared, Breheny said.
In less than a week, the snake has become the stuff of urban legend. Someone pretending to be the cobra even developed quite a following on Twitter with fake updates on the snakes activities around New York. The snake still does not have a name – but Breheny suggested that the zoo might hold a naming contest for the now-wildly popular animal.
The cobra, who weighs about three ounces, is an adolescent of its hooded species, which is believed to be the type of snake that was called an asp in antiquity.
Cobra bites can be deadly if not treated properly. MyFoxNY.com reports that poison from an Egyptian cobra's bite can kill an elephant in three hours and a human in only 15 minutes.
But the snakes aren't likely to attack people unless the reptiles feel threatened, according to a fact sheet on the San Diego Zoo's website.
Opened in 1899, the Bronx Zoo is run by the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Associated Press contributed to this report