For most of her three-month life, the Bronx Zoo’s tiny Egyptian cobra probably never got much attention. She was just one of many snakes in the reptile house, and, let’s be honest, only weird people even like snakes to begin with. But since somehow freeing herself from captivity over the weekend, the unnamed cobra which we’ve dubbed Shawsnake has become an international celebrity. And she’s going to milk the spotlight for all it’s worth. Though zoo officials believe Shawsnake remains somewhere in the confines of the reptile house, they don’t expect to find her for weeks.
“The holding areas of the reptile house are extremely complex environments with pumps, motors and other mechanical systems,” [zoo director James] Breheny said. “In this complex environment, she will likely remain in hiding and not move until she feels completely secure. As her comfort level rises, she will begin to move around the building to seek food and water.”
Shawsnake originally hoped to make it all the way to Zihuatanejo, Mexico, but considering her slim chances of escaping the reptile house at this point, the next best option is securing some star treatment for herself once she is inevitably returned to captivity. Dragging out her ordeal will keep Shawsnake in the headlines and increase her popularity with an adoring public, turning her into a big draw for zoo-goers once she’s returned to her glass enclosure. And if the zoo wants to keep its celebrity snake happy, it will give her a second helping of mouse, or God help her, she’s going to just slither behind a rock where nobody can see her.