New York (ANTARA News) - A deadly Egyptian cobra led a New York zoo on a snake hunt Monday after escaping its enclosure and forcing a shutdown of the entire reptile section.

The Bronx Zoo said the "Reptile House will be closed until further notice" while keepers scoured for the venomous cobra, which is an adolescent female and still only 20 inches (50 cm) long.

The snake-out happened late Friday and the zoo said the fugitive is so hard to catch that it might stay on the slither for weeks to come.

"The difficulty is that the 20-inch, pencil-thin snake, which is months old and weighs less than three ounces, has sought out a secure hiding spot within the Reptile House," Bronx Zoo director Jim Breheny said in a statement. "This may take days or even weeks."

Breheny said the wily reptile will have no trouble hiding in the "extremely complex environments" of the building, filled with pumps, motors and other machinery.

"Right now, it`s the snake`s game. 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."

But, he reassured, New Yorkers don`t need to start checking under their beds. "We remain confident that the snake is contained within the Reptile House."

"Based on our knowledge of the natural history and behavior of snakes, we know they seek closed-in spaces and are not comfortable in open areas. We are confident that the snake, about 20 inches long, is contained in a non-public, isolation area within the building," the zoo said in a statement quoted by AFP.


Editor: Suryanto
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