A king cobra that escaped from a zoo in Sweden has been found after a week on the run.
UNUSUAL – “We got it back! » A week after its spectacular escape from a Swedish zoo, a king cobra returned to its enclosure on Sunday October 30 after having managed for days to escape all searches, announced the Skansen Aquarium, which had to close its reptile section. pending the capture of the fugitive.
Just days after arriving, the snake, named “Sir Vas” (Sire whistler) and measuring 2.2 meters long, had fled on Saturday October 22 through one of the lights hanging from the ceiling of his terrarium.
According to the management of the zoo, which had safely welcomed king cobras for almost fifteen years, low-energy light bulbs had recently been installed to replace the old lamps which heated up much more and kept the reptiles at a distance.
Special traps and cameras
“Sir Vas” then foiled attempts to retrieve it, earning the nickname “Houdini”from the name of the legendary illusionist able to extricate himself from all chains, cages and cells.
To track him down, staff sprinkled flour in the reptile section and littered it with sticky traps, to no avail. The zoo then installed special cameras and portable X-ray machines on loan from the Swedish customs service.
On Friday, the reptile’s run seemed to come to an end when it was spotted in an interior wall. “Clever Houdini, however, changed places several times when we opened several holes to catch him”, explains the zoo. At one point, the fleeing snake even allowed itself to poke its head out through a trapdoor.
“He then realized that the customs officers were in the building and ran to hide elsewhere”tells the zoo, but if “we can escape customs, we can’t escape them”. During the night from Saturday to Sunday, the cobra seems to have decided to abandon its life as a fugitive. “He dropped and crawled back to his safe and warm home”according to the zoo.
The reptile section was able to reopen to the public but “Houdini” was placed “under house arrest” for viewing and visitors won’t be able to see it until Monday.
Native to South and Southeast Asia, the king cobra, naturally calm and unlikely to attack, is the longest venomous snake in the world. Its main prey is other snakes, but its bite can be fatal to humans if left untreated.
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