NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The infamous Bronx Zoo cobra is no longer missing.
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Officials from the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo announced that after a thorough seven-day search, the missing Egyptian cobra was found in a non-public, non-exhibit area at the zoo’s Reptile House.
Officials made the announcement at a news conference Thursday, where they showed a photograph of the adolescent snake resting comfortably in a secure enclosure.
All along, Zoo officials have said they were confident the 20-inch, venomous snake was lurking somewhere inside the building. The zoo’s Reptile House closed last Friday after workers were unable to locate the snake.
After being at liberty in the Reptile House for a week, the snake will be placed under observation and evaluated. Zoo officials want to make certain that the cobra is in good condition. They will eventually reopen the Reptile House and plan to have the animal on exhibit.
“As you can imagine, we are delighted to report that the snake has been found alive and well,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Senior Vice President of Living Institutions and Director of the Bronx Zoo. “I really want to thank our staff for their determination and professionalism as we conducted the methodical search. We appreciated the public’s support throughout the past week and we thank the media for helping keep the public informed.”
Breheny added: “The key strategy here was patience.”
The 20-inch, 3-ounce snake was found in a dark corner of the Reptile House.
Zoo workers had to get creative to lure her out, reports CBS 2’s Dave Carlin. Using the smells of live mice as bait helped do the trick.
“We kept lights dim and commotion down so she’d feel comfortable coming out,” Breheny said. “It was really the scent of the rodents that we hoped would take her out.”
But how the cobra got loose in the first place remains a mystery.
“We’ve begun a review to see what we can piece together what happened,” Breheny said.
In less than a week, the snake became the stuff of urban legend. Someone even started pretending to be the cobra and was tweeting up a storm on Twitter. The snake’s first tweet: “I want to thank those animals from the movie ‘Madagascar.’ They were a real inspiration.”
The cobra currently has more than 203,000 followers on Twitter.
The snake’s last tweet was posted at around 2:30 p.m. and said, “If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It’s probably nothing.”
The snake isn’t the first fugitive to detail his exploits on Twitter. The so-called “Barefoot Bandit” kept followers fascinated by popping up on Facebook every now and again. Colton Harris-Moore was captured in 2010 after crashing a plane in the Bahamas – but his Facebook fan page had about 20,000 members.
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