‘Mildly venomous' snake slithers loose in Bronx Zoo

Officials say not to freak out

By Mallory Hughes, CNN
shankar s. from Dubai, united arab emirates [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

NEW YORK (CNN) - If you happen to see a 3½-foot-long snake slithering around the Bronx Zoo in New York, have no fear. It's only "mildly venomous."

Come again?

It sounds scary, but zoo officials said the mangrove snake that somehow slithered loose from its display poses no threat to visitors.

It's probably more scared of you, anyway.

"Mangrove snakes, though mildly venomous, are not known to be dangerous to people. They are shy, timid, secretive in nature and active at night," the zoo said in a statement.

The zoo began notifying guests Wednesday that the snake slipped out of its exhibit in JungleWorld, and out of an abundance of caution, officials placed a sign at the zoo's entrance pointing out that "There is little chance of seeing or coming into contact with this snake."

Officials told CNN affiliate WCBS that the missing snake probably made its escape through a mesh cover.

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute describes the mangrove snake as "a slender black snake with narrow, yellow bands along its body and face." Its venom is not lethal to humans, but it can cause painful swelling and discoloration of the skin.

If you happen to catch a glimpse of the zoo's sneaky snake, notify a staff member.

Anyone believed to be aiding or abetting the fugitive will be sssssssssspoken to.

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