What's in a Name?exclusive
You probably know me as @BronxZoosCobra. That is the first "name" I adopted when I decided to explore New York City and be a #snakeonthetown. Before that, I was just a charming, attractive nameless Egyptian cobra in the Bronx Zoo's reptile house. Yes, nameless. There was no press conference announcing neither my arrival nor even a solitary tweet welcoming me to the zoo. This is because there has been a long standing tradition in not just the Bronx Zoo, but in almost all the zoos globally, to only name the "cute" animals.
Aw, a baby tiger was just born, let's name him Simba. Aw, let's welcome new baby panda, Pogo.
When is the last time you remember hearing, "Aw, everyone say hi to our new baby snake, Hissy?" Never. It just doesn't happen. Snakes. Rodents. Creepy crawly insects. And birds that dont talk -- they remain nameless.
Technically, they named me "Mia" after my recapture. The zoo created a public contest to name me. Human people could write in and suggest and vote on what my name should be. I voted for @BronxZoosCobra. I don't know how many people voted, but I do think some extra weight should have been put on MY vote, since it was going to be MY name. I was outvoted.
Having a name isn't all "fresh mice and warm rocks," as we snakes say. I'm the only reptile in the entire reptile house with a name. At times this is very awkward.
"Oh, hey ... buddy."
I've gotten good at coming up with generic nicknames. Chief, pal, buddy, sport, champ are some of my go to nicknames.
Next time you hear about the birth of an adorable new zoo baby with a cute name, take a moment to think of the spiders, snakes, mice, bats and the rest of the unnamed zoo animals. We are the nameless. We are the 99%. Occupy the zoo.