FRESNO, Calif. -- Three of four reptiles that were swiped from a science museum and thrown together into a garbage bag during a heist were recovered Friday, though a 3-foot-long ball python remained at large, officials said.

The 3 1/2-foot savannah monitor lizard, a 7-foot-long red-tailed boa constrictor and another 3-foot-long ball python were in good condition, said Mary Ellen Wright, the director of the Fresno Discovery Center. Authorities were searching for the missing python in an area frequented by a suspect, who has been arrested.

Wright had been worried about the reptiles' confinement together in the bag "because they are mortal enemies," she said.

"It would be like throwing two pit bulls in a locked room," she added, noting that the monitor lizard has sharp, 2-inch claws.

The reptiles were taken in a robbery that has perplexed museum officials and authorities, who have not released a motive.

Fresno Police Lt. Donald Gross said Friday Devin Michael Madej, 20, was arrested on suspicion of burglary and possession of stolen property.

The museum's education coordinator, Ian Goudelock, said the burglar didn't appear to be out to intentionally hurt the animals though the museum planned to have the reptiles checked by a veterinarian.

"It's just a strange theft. We're still trying to figure out why," he said. "It does kind of more or less have a happy ending."

Surveillance video showed the burglar broke into the Central California museum sometime late Wednesday or early Thursday, smashed the tanks that held the four reptiles – worth hundreds of dollars – and popped them into a garbage bag.

He also went into the center's gift shop and stole children's toys, the phone system and the security monitor, the Fresno Bee reported.

___

Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

Loading Slideshow...
  • Ball Python

    This undated photo provided by Fresno Discovery Center in Fresno, Calif. shows Kaa, a ball python. Kaa is one of four reptiles swiped from the Discovery Center Wednesday night, March 27, 2013. Three of the four stolen reptiles were recovered Friday night, although one of the two 3-foot ball pythons stolen remained at large. (AP Photo/The Discovery Center via The Fresno Bee) LOCAL PRINT OUT (VISALIA TIMES-DELTA, REEDY EXPONENT, KINGBURG RECORDER, SELMA ENTERPRISE, HANFORD SENTINEL, PORTERVILLE RECORDER, MADERA TRIBUNE, THE BUSINESS JOURANL FRENSO); LOCAL TV OUT (KSEE24, KFSN30, KGE47, KMPH26)

  • Ball Python

    This undated photo provided by Fresno Discovery Center in Fresno, Calif. shows a smashed display case at the Discovery Center, where four reptiles were swiped Wednesday night, March 27, 2013. Three of the four stolen reptiles were recovered Friday night, although one of two stolen 3-foot ball pythons remained at large. (AP Photo/The Discovery Center via The Fresno Bee) LOCAL PRINT OUT (VISALIA TIMES-DELTA, REEDY EXPONENT, KINGBURG RECORDER, SELMA ENTERPRISE, HANFORD SENTINEL, PORTERVILLE RECORDER, MADERA TRIBUNE, THE BUSINESS JOURANL FRENSO); LOCAL TV OUT (KSEE24, KFSN30, KGE47, KMPH26)

  • Ball Python

    This undated photo provided by Fresno Discovery Center in Fresno, Calif. shows a smashed display case at the Discovery Center, where four reptiles were swiped Wednesday night, March 27, 2013. Three of the four stolen reptiles were recovered Friday night, although one of two stolen 3-foot ball pythons remained at large. (AP Photo/The Discovery Center via The Fresno Bee) LOCAL PRINT OUT (VISALIA TIMES-DELTA, REEDY EXPONENT, KINGBURG RECORDER, SELMA ENTERPRISE, HANFORD SENTINEL, PORTERVILLE RECORDER, MADERA TRIBUNE, THE BUSINESS JOURANL FRENSO); LOCAL TV OUT (KSEE24, KFSN30, KGE47, KMPH26)

  • Savannah Monitor Lizard

    This undated photo provided by Fresno Discovery Center in Fresno, Calif. shows Zu Zu, a savannah monitor lizard. Zu Zu is one of four reptiles swiped from the Discovery Center Wednesday night, March 27, 2013. Three of the four stolen reptiles, including Zu Zu, were recovered Friday night, although one of two 3-foot ball pythons stolen remained at large. (AP Photo/The Discovery Center via The Fresno Bee) LOCAL PRINT OUT (VISALIA TIMES-DELTA, REEDY EXPONENT, KINGBURG RECORDER, SELMA ENTERPRISE, HANFORD SENTINEL, PORTERVILLE RECORDER, MADERA TRIBUNE, THE BUSINESS JOURANL FRENSO); LOCAL TV OUT (KSEE24, KFSN30, KGE47, KMPH26)

  • cactus

    This golden barrel cactus was photographed at the Discovery Center in Fresno, California, April 18, 2008. (Photo by Diana Baldrica/Fresno Bee/MCT via Getty Images)

  • cactus

    This silver torch cactus grows red tubular flowers at the Discovery Center in Fresno, California, April 18, 2008. (Photo by Diana Baldrica/Fresno Bee/MCT via Getty Images)