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Snake Stolen From Calif. Zoo

September 2, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A rare, one-pound garter snake named Sarah disappeared from her home at the San Francisco Zoo after someone pried the locks and covering off her cage, zoo officials said Friday.

The pencil-thin snake is harmless, said Joe Fitting, a Zoo herpetologist.

It’s an endangered San Francisco garter snake, a subspecies known for its extraordinary turquoise blue belly and vivid red and black stripes, he said.

``The snake is valuable to hobbyists who recognize its rarity,″ Fitting said. ``It is considered one of North America’s most beautiful snakes and is highly prized outside the U.S.″

Zoo officials say the snake is easy to take care of with a diet that includes fish, amphibians and rodents, but they just want Sarah back.

No other animals were missing.

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