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Escaped python leads to shutdown of Louisiana mall's aquarium

Cara, a nonpoisonous Burmese Python "slithered out of her exhibit," prompting a closure and search of the Blue Zoo Aquarium in Baton Rouge.

A python slithered out of its enclosure at a Louisiana aquarium on Tuesday, forcing the park's closure as keepers searched for the missing 12-foot-long python, officials said.

The Blue Zoo Aquarium in Baton Rouge emphasized that Cara is not poisonous, but still opted for a facility-wide lockdown to look for her.

"While we’ve created a very secure home for Cara, our Burmese Python, she has slithered out of her exhibit," the zoo said in a statement.

"Cara is a non-poisonous, friendly snake that enjoys her time interacting with guests during our Snake Education Shows. Cara is an adored member of our Blue Zoo family. The safety of our animals is of utmost importance to us, so to ensure Cara’s safety, we will be closed for the day."

The aquarium is a two-story facility built into the Mall of Louisiana, but officials believe Cara didn't make it into any of the stores, officials said.

"They are confident the animal never left their perimeter and is still within the confines of the Blue Zoo," St. George Fire Department spokesman Eldon Ledoux said.

Firefighters were called at about 10:20 a.m. local time to help with the search. Though Cara wasn't immediately found, the firefighters were released in less than two hours as aquarium workers believed they'd be able to capture her.

The zoo, which normally opens at 11 a.m., remained closed on Wednesday.

"We have not found her yet, but we’re searching day and night," Blue Zoo Chief Marketing Officer Ronda Swanson said Wednesday morning. "We will remain closed today."