An extremely venomous king cobra that managed a daring escape from a zoo in Stockholm, Sweden on the weekend caused a frantic search by staff.
The imposing snake named Sir Vas (Sir Hiss) fled the zoo on Saturday by slithering through a lamp fixture opening in its terrarium.
Staff believed that the creature was hiding somewhere in a ceiling, according to CBS News.
Despite its reputation, the king cobra is normally shy of humans and will avoid confrontation whenever possible. But it has the ability to attack from a long distance away and has a lasting bite which injects a large amount of venom, necessitating immediate medical treatment.
Sir Hiss had only been living at the zoo for a few days before going on the run. He has now been nicknamed Houdini for escaping his enclosure, which has housed king cobras without issues for the past 15 years.
Staff attempted to track the slippery escapee with flour and sticky traps. They also installed cameras to watch sewage pipes and other tight spaces.
Jonas Wahlstrom, director of the Skansen Aquarium, told AFP that staff had recently replaced a hot lightbulb in the ceiling’s enclose with a cooler low-energy bulb.
"The old light was so hot that no snake wanted to get close," Wahlstrom 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."