White cobra that roamed Thousand Oaks goes on exhibit at San Diego Zoo

White cobra goes on exhibit at San Diego Zoo. You can help name it.

Attention, reptile enthusiasts: A venomous white cobra that was once loose in Thousand Oaks is now on exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.

The 4-foot-long female, which went on exhibit Tuesday, spent 90 days in quarantine after being captured in September. It then passed a physical exam and a blood test to ensure it was not carrying any viruses, parasites or mites.

The as-yet-unnamed snake, thought to be two years old, has a 4-by-4-foot habitat at the zoo's Klauber-Shaw Reptile House with a window so visitors can look. To make room, a python was relocated.

A naming contest is underway. The choices: Adhira (lightning), Sapheda (white), Krima (cream), Cini (sugar), Moti (pearl) and Sundara (beautiful).

The snake is a monocled cobra, not an albino. The former has limited pigmentation; the latter has none.

Cobras are plentiful in their native Southeast Asia. But they're illegal to have in California without a permit.

Just how the cobra came to roam Thousand Oaks is unknown. The best guess is that it was once someone's pet.

Zookeepers plan to monitor the cobra to make sure it is not becoming unnerved by being on display. Cobras have a tendency to be shy so visitors are advised to look closely under the rock ledge or beneath the plants.

"We expect it may take her a few weeks to get used to her new surroundings," said zookeeper Rachael Walton. "Being a cobra, she likes to hide."


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