Merlin the Python pulls disappearing act

Monday, October 6th 2008, 7:21 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, NEWS 9

NORMAN, Okla. -- Merlin the Python vanished from the Little River Zoo in Norman 10 days ago, but now he's home safe and sound.

How he vanished and how he returned are issues the police are investigating.

Visitors to the Little River Zoo get to see a rich variety of animals. But one they couldn't see Monday morning was Merlin, a rare albino Burmese Python.

On Sept. 27 Merlin was gone, apparently stolen, after the cage in which he was held during the summer months had been tamped with.

"Absolutely, all the straps had been taken off and the lid was set off to the side," Janet Sadler Schmid with the Little River Zoo said.

The longer Merlin went without eating, the more dangerous he would become.

"He will bite people, like I say, he's not venomous, but he will constrict on people," Schmid said. "For a small child that can be deadly, for an adult it could be very dangerous."

At about 2 p.m. the zoo got a call that someone had left a red sack at the zoo's entrance. Sure enough, it was Merlin, a little cold, a little hungry, but unharmed.

"Absolutely, we're thrilled to death that he's home, and we are thankful that he's home," Schmid said.

This is the second time Merlin has disappeared in the last two weeks.

If you have any information about Merlin the Python police would like to hear from you. Please call Norman Police at 321-1600.