Deadly Egyptian cobra search at Bronx Zoo in New York

image captionA bite from an Egyptian cobra can kill within seconds

Staff at one of the most prominent zoos in the US continue to hunt for a deadly venomous snake that escaped from its pen on Friday.

The 20in (50cm) adolescent Egyptian cobra was believed confined to a non-public area of the reptile house at New York City's Bronx Zoo.

Zoo officials said snakes seek closed-in spaces and are uncomfortable in open areas.

The zoo closed the reptile house "until further notice".

A spokeswoman was unable immediately to comment on the search progress.

"We are informing the public out of an abundance of caution and will continue to take whatever steps necessary to ensure public safety," the zoo said in a statement on Saturday.

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