“Connecting People to Wild Nature.” That’s the slogan on the Bronx Zoo website. They mean it. Right now there is an Egyptian cobra, known as an asp, on the loose. It’s a young reptile, only 20 inches long and about the thickness of a pencil. A snake that small could hide for a long time.
The small size combined with potent venom makes this snake rather terrifying. I realize snakes are normally not a serious menace to humans, but I share Indiana Jones’ feelings regarding our slithery friends. I’ve been bitten by a snake once, thankfully it was a harmless snake that I didn’t see and got too close to. (I reached down to pick something up, the snake was sitting by the object and thought I was threatening it. The unexpected sight of a snake attached to your hand is not a good time.) That snake didn’t have fangs, just an arc of small rather sharp teeth.
My uneasiness around snakes is accompanied by a fascination with them.
The Egyptian cobra on the loose has a Twitter account (@BronxZoosCobra). She has a good sense of humor. I laughed at her comments about Samuel L. Jackson, Rebecca Black, Donald Trump, Brett Favre, exploring New York, and playful threats.
I love nature. Animals are very cool. But I’d prefer if my connection to snakes with venom in New York had a glass buffer.