Victoria’s long municipal nightmare is over—a snake that had been living in a city storm drain has been caught.
But if the owner can’t be found, the rogue reptile could soon go up for adoption.
The five-foot long grey snake, believed to be a harmless corn snake, was first discovered August 17, when city public works crews sent a remote-controlled camera in to inspect the pipe.
They were trying to discover what was causing pavement to subside at the corner of Quadra Street and Balmoral Road, when the camera nearly bumped into the beast.
Over the course of eight days, crews worked with animal control officers to try to lure the snake out, using mice and heat pads to tempt it. But the snake was molting, and not moving about.
City utility operations manager Mike Ippen said when crews returned Thursday night, to check on the snake again with a specialized camera, they were surprised to find it right under a manhole cover.
“One of the crews reached in and picked it out, put it in a bucket,” he said.
Ippen said the snake was skinnier than expected and measured in at just under 5 feet long.
It’s still unclear whether the serpent., believed to be an escaped pet, is male or female, or how long it had been living in the city’s pipes. Ippen said the effort to rescue it cost about $1,500 in staff time.
The snake is now in the care of Victoria Animal Services, and as with all animals they take in, the pound is giving the snake’s owner 96 hours to come forward and provide proof it’s theirs. After that, the animal goes up for adoption.
But it seems the snake has slithered its way into the affections of some of the city workers who had been keeping tabs on it. Ippen says if no one else claims it, some of his staff have expressed interest in taking it home.