A world-famous cobra reflects on the year’s best day

by Bronx Zoo’s Cobra


July 16 is World Snake Day. Wondering why you haven’t heard about World Snake Day before? Quite simply, the biased media machine has a well-documented history of being anti-snake. That is why I applaud the high journalistic standards of The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Prairie Dog and Planet S for agreeing to print this column.

Snakes have gotten a bad rap from the very beginning. Literally. Remember the Garden of Eden? A helpful snake simply suggests to Eve that an apple might be a nutritious snack, and boom: snakes are evil. This snake didn’t suggest some processed junk food with high fructose corn syrup. Apples are high in fiber, full of antioxidants, and paleo diet friendly. Celebs like Miley Cyrus and Jessica Biel swear by the paleo diet. Is Miley evil? Well, evil for suggesting an apple?

I don’t think so.

I’d like to encourage the media to portray snakes in a more positive light. We can start with eliminating anti-snake language from our vocabulary. Some problem phrases that need to go:

Like a snake in the grass.”

Um, grass is our habitat sometimes. We’re not being sneaky; we’re just living.

Speaking with a forked tongue.

First of all, we don’t speak with our tongues. Our tongues are forked so we can detect tiny odor variations. We smell with our tongues. But you don’t hear about that.

“Snake oil salesman.”

Snake venom was used to create the drug Eptifibatide, a blood thinner that can stop a heart attack. So, that “salesman” is your doctor.

Let’s not forget the positive facts about snakes:

SNAKES AND MOVIES Snakes have made great contributions to cinema, from the Harry Potter movies to Snakes on a Plane to that emotional tear-jerker, Anaconda.

SNAKE-SKIN FASHION It’s exotic, elegant and timeless.

SOCIAL MEDIA Snakes are amazing at it.

Please help spread the word about World Snake Day so that together we can end the negative stereotyping of awesome reptiles.

And please drink responsibly at your World Snake Day parties tonight.

The world famous Bronx Zoo’s Cobra escaped in March, 2011 and tweeted about her adventures before being recaptured. She’s still on Twitter, though! Follow her: @BronxZoosCobra.