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Missing carpet python returns to Nagoya zoo -- double its original size

A carpet python found at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya's Chikusa Ward after going missing in January this year is pictured in this photo provided by the zoo.

NAGOYA -- A carpet python that went missing at a zoo here in January has returned -- and is now more than double its original size.

A worker at Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Nagoya's Chikusa Ward found the python in a backyard space from which it went missing. At the time of its disappearance, the snake was about 50 centimeters long, but it has now grown to 113 centimeters.

"At the time it went missing there was a big commotion," a veterinarian at the zoo said. "Because of all the trouble to our visitors, it's hard to say a kind, 'Welcome back.'" It remains unclear whether or not the snake ventured outside the zoo.

The reptile was found in a plastic case used to grow displayed plants. It was soaking in water 14 centimeters deep. Carpet pythons are said to have a habit of soaking in water when they shed their skin.

According to the zoo, carpet pythons, which live in the forests and grassland of Australia and other areas, grow to about 2 or 3 meters. They are not venomous.

"It probably went into a state of hibernation for a few months after it disappeared, then started moving about sometime around May and ate bugs and lizards in the area," a zoo representative said.

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