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Kaiser escapes in Google offices

By Nahal Toosi The Associated Press

NEW YORK – This was one search that you couldn’t just Google.

An employee’s python went missing over the weekend in Google’s sprawling Manhattan office, sending search teams on an all-out snake hunt. The searchers scoured the complex for the 3-foot-long snake and finally found the serpent, known as Kaiser, on Monday night.

“A snake was lost; it was not an April Fool’s joke. It was found last night,” Google spokeswoman Ellen West said yesterday. “The snake has left the building.”

She declined to reveal specifics about where in the office Kaiser was discovered. But a contributor to Google’s official blog wrote that the staff was told the snake was found “relaxing behind a cabinet.”

And although West wouldn’t say how the snake made it to the office, she confirmed it belonged to a “Googler” and said the pet was now at its owner’s home.

The Google blog contributor, software engineer Dan Bentley, wrote that while some employees laughed about the situation, others stood away from walls and corners and the bathrooms were less crowded.

The fact that someone brought a snake into the building is not completely surprising, given Google’s laid-back culture.

Dubbed the “Googleplex,” the Manhattan office of the Mountain View, Calif.-based company offers a relaxed workspace, built around a team concept that has people sharing offices and cubicles connected in groups. It also offers free food, massage therapy, yoga classes, and ski trips, according to Google’s jobs Web site.

Company officials did not comment on a report that the search for the snake even included a missing snake flier. The Web site Vallewag, a technology gossip Web site based in Silicon Valley, posted a photo of the flier, complete with a photo of the reptile.

The flier described the snake as “non-venomous” and “not dangerous,” and responsive to the name “Kaiser,” according to the Web site.

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