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Escaped cobra recaptured at Bronx Zoo

The young Egyptian cobra, discovered missing Friday, is 'alive and well,' says a Bronx Zoo official. Someone posing as the snake on Twitter created a flurry during the serpent's nearly weeklong cage-free spree.

March 31, 2011|By Tina Susman | Los Angeles Times

Reporting from New York — Wildlife officials announced Thursday they had captured a venomous vagabond ? a young Egyptian cobra that vanished from its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo last week.

"She's alive and well," Jim Breheny, Bronx Zoo director and senior vice president of the Wildlife Conservation Society, told a news conference as a large screen behind him showed the black serpent.

Photos: Notorious escaped animals

As zoo officials had predicted since the snake was discovered missing from its enclosure at the reptile house Friday, the snake was found inside the building. Breheny said the roughly 20-inch-long, pencil-thin black snake had been curled up in a dark corner and was discovered at about 9 a.m. Eastern on Thursday. Bait in the form of wood shavings used by rats, mice and other rodents helped lure the snake from its hiding spot.

"Right now, she's resting comfortably and securely," said Breheny, adding that the World of Reptiles, closed since Friday, would be reopened after the snake had been observed for a few days to ensure she was in good health. He also said the zoo would investigate how the snake managed to escape its enclosure, which was in a non-display area of the reptile house.

There was no immediate comment from the person who had been sending messages on Twitter as the snake and whose updates had attracted more than 200,000 followers by Thursday afternoon. According to the tweets, the snake's last adventure before being recaptured was attending the Yankees' opening game.

"If you see a bag of peanuts inexplicably moving along the ground at Yankee Stadium today. Just ignore it. It's probably nothing," one of the tweets said.

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