A DEADLY snake has forced a zoo into lockdown after breaking free from its cage.
King cobra Sir Hiss, renamed Houdini after its daring escape, managed to slither away from its enclosure at Skansen Zoo in Stockholm, Sweden.
The scaley critter had arrived at the zoo just days before disappearing on Saturday through a lamp fixture in a terrarium.
Bosses have been forced to partially shut down the zoo as staff continue to search for the venomous vagrant.
Workers have spread out flour to try and track the slithery fugitive and sticky traps have been set up.
They have also brought in special cameras designed to inspect sewage pipes.
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It is feared the reptile could be hiding somewhere in the inner ceiling.
The snake has now been renamed Houdini after the famed escape artist, Jonas Wahlstrom, director of the Skansen Aquarium, said.
Wahlstrom told AFP that the terrarium has housed king cobras for about 15 years, but it only took the new tenant a few days to find a way out.
He joked: "It turned out to be clever."
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Wahlstrom explained that staff had recently replaced the lamp at the top of the enclosure with a low-energy bulb.
He added: "The old light was so hot that no snake wanted to get close.
"But now it's not hot at all and the new king cobra discovered this and wedged its head in between the lightbulb and the light fixture and managed to push itself out."
Wahlstrom said there was no danger of it escaping outside.
He said: "It won't get out, but hypothetically it's also so cold outside that it would doze off immediately.
The zoo chief also stressed that king cobras are typically quite calm and unlikely to attack.
King cobras, originally from South and Southeast Asia, are the world's longest venomous snake, growing up to 18 feet long.
They mainly prey on other snakes but their bites can be fatal to humans if untreated.
It comes after a cheeky chimp went on the run after escaping from a Ukraine zoo.
Footage filmed in the besieged city of Kharkiv shows the female primate Chichi wandering through the streets.
Staff from the zoo in Ukraine's second city try in vain to persuade Chichi to return home after she strolls into a nearby park.
After others try to win her trust with sweet treats, a blonde woman is spotted kneeling down and talking to the escaped ape.
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But when it starts to rain, the homesick chimp suddenly runs over to her keeper and embraces her.
The woman then gives her yellow raincoat to Chichi, who obligingly stretches her arms through the sleeves.
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