Escaped king cobra crawls back to Swedish terrarium

HELSINKI (AP) — A venomous 2.2-meter (7 foot) king cobra that escaped from its home in a Swedish zoo has returned back home by itself, bringing a happy ending to over a week-long disappearance saga.

“Houdini, as we named him, has crawled back into his terrarium,” CEO Jonas Wahlstrom of the Skansen Aquarium told the Swedish public broadcaster SVT on Sunday.

The deadly snake, whose official name is Sir Vass (Sir Hiss), escaped on Oct. 22 via a light fixture in the ceiling of its glass enclosure at the aquarium, part of the zoo at the Skansen open-air museum and park on Stockholm’s Djurgarden island.

As a result of an intensive search with X-ray machines, “Houdini” was located earlier this week in a confined space near the terrarium in the insulation between two walls.

Holes were drilled into the walls where the snake was hiding but the cobra disappeared from the view of the X-ray cameras in the early Sunday. It turned out the snake had given up its freedom ride and crawled back to its terrarium.

“It was too stressful for Houdini with all the holes in the walls, so he wanted to go home again,” Wahlstrom told SVT.

The park said the snake wouldn’t have survived the cold climate if had gotten out of the building.

King cobras can grow up to 5.5 meters (18 feet) long and mainly live in India, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up