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Missing Cobra Hits the Big Apple; Thousands Following on Twitter

Mar 29, 2011 – 7:11 PM
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Lisa Flam

Lisa Flam Contributor

It's no wonder the escaped Egyptian cobra hasn't been found at the Bronx Zoo: She's having too good of a time taking on Manhattan.

In reality, the zoo says it may be weeks before the pencil-thin, 20-inch venomous asp comes out of hiding. She's believed to be confined to the zoo's World of Reptiles building after slipping out of her enclosure several days ago. But while the hunt for the cobra continues at the zoo, a witty Twitter writer has imagined her young life on the town.

Under the handle BronxZoosCobra, the "snake" began tweeting Monday, starting off with some thanks to the animals from the animated movie "Madagascar" for providing inspiration for her trip around the Big Apple.

"Holding very still in the snake exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. This is gonna be hilarious!" read one tweet.

The cobra, which is months old and weighs less than 3 ounces, also made virtual stops to Wall Street ("These guys make my skin crawl"), the High Line park and Rockefeller Plaza. And she pondered the classic New York indignity of being unable to catch a cab.

The cobra now has more than 86,000 Twitter followers -- and an email address too. However, a note today from AOL News went unanswered.

BronxZoosCobra did return an email from The New York Times, telling the paper about her Twitter goal: "I just want Justin Bieber to follow me."

The zoo noticed the real cobra, whose bite can be fatal, was not in her enclosure in a nonpublic area of the Reptile House on Friday and immediately closed the building until further notice. The zoo says the elusive cobra would shy away from open spaces and will come out when she's ready.

"Right now, it's the snake's game," zoo director Jim Breheny said in a statement Monday. "At this point, it's just like fishing; you put the hook in the water and wait. Our best strategy is patience, allowing her time to come out of hiding.

"She will likely remain in hiding and not move until she feels completely secure," Breheny said. "As her comfort level rises, she will begin to move around the building to seek food and water."

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Still, news of a snake on the loose hasn't kept visitors from the zoo.

"It's exciting," Yves Chardonnet, 39, a tourist from Paris, told the New York Daily News. "I'm not scared at all."

For now, the cobra's pretend journey is slithering through cyberspace.

"Enjoying a cupcake @magnoliabakery. This is going straight to my hips. Oh, wait. I don't have hips. Yesss!" read one of this morning's tweets.
Filed under: Nation, Weird News, AOL Original
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