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Kenya: The Egyptian Cobra

August 11, 2010

Recently one of these critters escaped from its enclosure at the Bronx Zoo, an event that was breathlessly reported on national American news.  The Egyptian cobra’s range is widespread and I imagine during my time in Africa I came into close proximity with many of them, blissfully unaware of the fact.  They are extremely dangerous but not particularly aggressive as long as you stay out of their space.

This snake is also known as the Forest cobra.  It lives throughout East Africa and I would suspect from the name that the snake makes its home as far north as Egypt.

On one occasion I did stumble on one of them near Nairobi.  Here is one of the first photos I ever shot, using a borrowed camera.  Every time I leaned toward the snake it leaned back in my direction.  Rather disconcerting.

I used a Nikon F with a 50 mm lens, one similar to the perception of the human eye.  So that tells you how close I was to the snake.

But all turned out innocently enough during my recorded close encounter.

I am sure that the citizens of New York City have little to fear.  I don’t envy the handlers who eventually find the reptile; it probably does not want to be returned to its prison in the zoo.

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