Zoo on lockdown after highly venomous King Cobra makes daring ‘Houdini’ escape

One of the world's most deadly snakes is on the run after fleeing its brand new zoo enclosure just days after arriving.

Skansen Zoo in Stockholm, Sweden, has been partially closed after a King Cobra name Sir Hiss escaped a few days after being place at the zoo.

The animal, who has now been renamed Houdini, managed to climb through a lamp fixture in its terrarium and launch itself from a tree branch to freedom.

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It is thought that the snake is now hiding somewhere in the ceiling of the reptile section of the massive zoo, which has been closed down until it is found.

Staff have been using a variety of methods to track him – including using flour to capture the trails, stick traps and special hidden cameras . . . but it is still on the run after 48 hours.

The zoo's aquarium director Jonas Wahlström said: “He won't come out, in theory, it's so cold outside that he would fall asleep.

“He must be a smart guy.

“The old lamps were too hot, which kept the snakes away.

“The natural thing for such a snake, when it leaves a terrarium where it is 30 degrees, is to wait until it gets warmer.

“Then when it realizes that it won't get much warmer than this, it will move.

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“All valves are sealed and there is no way to get out, and as soon as it sticks its nose out, it will realize that it is far too cold and that it does not want to be there.”

Although the venom of a King Cobra is not as dangerous as other venomous snakes, it is thought that around two-tenths of a fluid ounce of its poison can kill around 20 people – or one huge elephant.

Once bitten, it can hit your respiratory area of the brain, and give you a heart attack within minutes.

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