Deadly cobra escapes in Bronx zoo

A deadly Egyptian cobra led a New York zoo on a snake hunt on Monday after escaping its enclosure and forcing shut down 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 and still only 20 inches (50 cm) long.

The zoo said New Yorkers had nothing to worry about in the wake of the snake-out late Friday.

"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.

A spokeswoman for the zoo could not immediately comment on progress in the hunt Monday.

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