White cobra at San Diego Zoo gets a name


The celebrity snake at the San Diego Zoo now has a name: Adhira, which in Hindi means lightning.

Adhira came in first in an online poll to find a name for the venomous white cobra that was captured in Thousand Oaks and, after a period of quarantine, joined the zoo’s Reptile House.

Adhira received 4,612 votes, besting Sapheda (white), Krima (cream), Cini (Sugar), Moti (pearl) and Sundara (beautiful). Selected by the cobra’s keepers, the names were meant to reflect the Southeast Asia region where cobras are native.

The cobra, a female, is just over 4 feet long and considered about 2 years old. How it came to be slithering around Thousand Oaks is still a mystery.


Adhira was brought from the Los Angeles Zoo to the San Diego Zoo because the latter is one of only two zoos in the U.S. with the proper anti-venom for the species.

The snake went on exhibit Dec. 23 and likes to hide beneath the mulch, plants and rock ledges in her exhibit space.