Two snakes and a crocodile have been stolen by an intruder to the Canberra Reptile Zoo in the early hours of Friday.
The thief broke into the Gold Creek-based zoo around 6am, stealing one Stimson's python named Tim Tam, a hatchling jungle python named Zebra and Jaws Junior, a freshwater crocodile.
Snake supplies, a register computer and a stereo were also taken from the zoo in the early-morning incident.
The zoo's founder and managing director, Peter Child, said staff at the zoo were devastated.
"We're horrified by the loss of the animals," Mr Child said.
"These animals meant a lot to us and we're feeling shattered."
Security footage of the incident has been posted on social media by the zoo in an attempt to identify the offender.
ACT police are investigating.
Mr Child said the intruder broke in through a back entrance to the zoo and targeted the snakes.
"They broke in and went for the snakes on display and smashed the enclosures as well, and removed a lot of products from the shop so they would be able to keep the snakes alive," he said.
"Unfortunately, one of the crocodiles was out the back of the display in a container and they took that too.
"The croc being stolen might have been opportunistic."
Zebra had only been at the zoo since last December, while Tim Tam was a popular attraction for the past three years, and Jaws Junior had been there for four years.
The zoo's founder said he missed the intruder by only a couple of minutes.
"I saw our alarm go off, but we've had many false alarms over the years because of all the animals moving, so I was probably a bit slower than I should have been," Mr Child said.
"By the time I had got there, they had broke in and taken the items."
The zoo had been saving for a new enclosure for one of its crocodiles, Charlie, who had grown so large he had outgrown his habitat.
However, most of that money will now have to go towards the clean up and security upgrade following the animal theft.
Despite the loss of their three reptiles, Mr Child said he had been touched by the outpouring of community support.
"We've received a big response, and there's been a lot of people who have contacted us," he said.
"Someone must know who this person is, a croc isn't a small thing to hide."
Anyone with information has been urged to contact CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.