The Bronx Zoo was closed today after an adolescent Egyptian cobra went missing from an off-exhibit enclosure. Uh oh. "Deadly cobra" and "missing" are not two things you want to hear in the same news story.
According to CNN, the Egyptian cobra's venom "is so deadly that it can kill a full-grown elephant in three hours — or a person in about 15 minutes, according to wildlife experts. The venom destroys nerve tissue and causes paralysis and death due to respiratory failure." But don't worry, says the zoo: "Based on our knowledge of the natural history and behavior of snakes, we know they seek closed-in spaces and are not comfortable in open areas. We are confident that the snake, about 20 inches long, is contained in a non-public, isolation area within the building." It's funnier to imagine the cobra riding the 2 train wearing a little trench coat and sun glasses: "I'm free! Time for a shopping spree in Soho!"