King Cobra Escapes From Swedish ZooThe king cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world. A Periam Photography/Shutterstock

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King Cobra Escapes From Swedish Zoo

The king cobra can grow to about 16-18 feet in length and is the world’s longest venomous snake.

The snake, initially named Sir Vas (Sir Hiss) and renamed Houdini after he escaped, apparently got out of the enclosure via an opening in a lamp fixture.

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A king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) who was a recent addition to the Skansen Aquarium in Sweden, has escaped its enclosure, causing the partial shut down of the zoo. The snake, initially named Sir Vas (Sir Hiss) and renamed Houdini after he escaped, apparently got out of the enclosure via an opening in a lamp fixture that staff had updated with a low energy bulb that produced less heat. Zoo personnel believe the venomous reptile is in an inner ceiling, though news reports say that the zoo has partially closed.

King cobra is the largest venomous snake in the world. Photo by Heiko Kiera/Shutterstock


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Staff has spread flour to help track any movements, and have also deployed sticky traps an effort to subdue the snake, to no avail. Special cameras have also been employed to inspect sewage pipes for the escaped snake. According to zoo staff, the terrarium in which Houdini escaped has been housing King cobras for 155A years, but Houdini was quick to find an escape route.

“The old light was so hot that no snake wanted to get close,” Jonas Wahlstrom, director of the Skansen Aquarium said. “But now it’s not hot at all and the new king cobra discovered this and wedged its head in between the lightbulb and the light fixture and managed to push itself out.”


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The king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is probably the most popular venomous snake in the world due in part to its massive size and the fact that it raises its head with its hood spread when it becomes agitated. The snake is also respected for its capability to eat other large snakes, including smaller pythons in its range, such as reticulated and Burmese pythons.

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