Zoo officials are siding with the cobra’s Egyptian heritage, and now the vote, once again, goes to the people. But what do the choices mean?
(More on TIME.com: See the snake’s daring getaway)
The field has been narrowed to just five after the Bronx Zoo received more than 33,000 suggestions. Many of the choices reflect the young female snake’s Egyptian heritage. If NewsFeed had our way, we’d totally pick something pop culture-related, like Oprah or Houdini. But alas, this one will come down to the meaning behind the name. The five possibilities are:
A Greek name meaning “pure” or “holy,” this is an appropriately feminine name for the snake who is just a few months old. The little cobra is sure to be sacred to the zoo in the coming months, as her escape cemented her as a veritable celebrity.
This Ancient Egyptian goddess represents the air and is also known as the “hidden one.” In mythology, Amaunet was appropriately represented as a snake-headed woman. The imagery abounds with this choice.
The most famous and understandable choice of the group, Cleopatra was an Egyptian queen, but perhaps more memorable for being Julius Caesar’s lover. She killed herself by soliciting an Egyptian cobra to bite her.
This name means “patience” in Egyptian, stemming from a Swahili word of the same meaning. Its extended form, which is even more poignant to the zookeepers who tracked down the missing snake, is “patience rewarded.”
No Egyptian relation here, but this name is supposedly a clever pun. Mia – or should we say M.I.A. – plays off her escape artist tendencies when she went “missing in action” last week.
The snake’s Twitter persona, @BronxZoosCobra, who chronicled the snake’s hypothetical romp around Manhattan in the wake of the escape, tweeted its frustration with the naming contest: “After seeing 5 finalist names to rename me, I’ve decide [sic] to have my own contest to rename The Bronx Zoo.”
(More on TIME.com: See our exclusive interview with @BronxZoosCobra)