The story of Paco the Python is a serpentine tale of a pet snake accidentally shipped from Missouri to New Jersey in a box with a DVD player being sent for repairs.

Paco is currently basking in an 85-degree cage at an NJ Pets store in Clifton; he'll be shipped back home to Missouri in temperature-controlled comfort.

Sheila Himmerick, who had bought Paco as a gift for her teenage son, Rusty, was thrilled to find out he was alive. She said pythons don't like the cold.

Himmerick and 17-year-old son were at home in Jefferson City, Missouri, and couldn't get their get their new DVD player to work. They called the maker, Samsung, and shipped the player to the company's return center in Secaucus, New Jersey late last month.

Paco, a three-foot, four-pound ball python with brown and yellow markings, apparently slithered into the box, and hid beneath the foam peanuts the DVD player was packed in.

Himmerick got a call from Samsung's New Jersey repair shop, CVE Incorporated. She said someone there asked whether that was her snake in the DVD box, and was that her way of expressing her customer dissatisfaction.

A woman who answered the phone at CVE said the company had no comment on the incident.

Secaucus Town Animal Warden Kevin Kessler, who was called to handle the python, said Paco was a bit listless but unharmed, and that no charges were filed. Kessler said "things like this do happen."