After a week of mystery, the Bronx Zoo cobra has been found.
The infamous snake, who last week absconded from her zoo quarters and has been at large ever since, was found early Thursday at the Bronx Zoo Reptile House.
The pencil-thin Egyptian cobra, which has spawned a hugely successful Twitter account (which on last count had over 200,000 followers) and countless marketing opportunities that come with becoming a beloved meme, is "alive and well," the zoo said.
Officials from the Wildlife Conservation Society held a press conference late Thursday detailing the Cobra's near week of freedom, and where exactly it was hiding out. Jim Breheny, the Director of the Bronx Zoo, said the reptile was found in a non-public, off-exhibit area in the Reptile House. Officials conducted searches for the reptile three times a day, and tried to lure her out with low lighting and rodent odors. "We had to give her a chance to feel secure so she would come out," Breheny said.
How exactly the snake disappeared in the first place is still a mystery. "We've begun a review to see if we can piece together what happened," Breheny said, "but I wanted to focus on recovering the animal. And now that we have her back, we'll look into that."
Breheny said the Zoo was grateful that everyone took a spoofy approach to the situation, but officials made sure to remember that a small, venomous creature on the loose was still a very serious situation. "We did not at all want to be distracted by all that light heartedness." Breheny did point out, however, that the cobra was on the smaller side, and cobras in general don't use their venom defensively, but to procure food.
Now that this whole debacle is over, and New Yorkers can be paranoid of one less thing, what's next? Shut down @BronxZoosCobra? Sell off the remaining mugs and t-shirts? The Zoo says that she'll be put on exhibit once they make sure she's healthy.
And yet, through all of this, we still don't even know her name. "Bronx Zoo Cobra" doesn't roll off the tongue, after all. Director Breheny conceded that, in light of her sudden fame, that "maybe we'll do some sort of naming contest for this animal."