Something could be slithering in Victoria’s downtown as the police department warns the public of an irregular occurrence: a loose ball python.
“We did get an unusual report yesterday,” said Const. Cam MacIntyre with Victoria police’s public affairs.
“At 11:30 a.m. we received a report of a missing ball python.”
It’s a 1.4 metre, or four-and-a-half foot, python and it’s somewhere in Victoria, reported lost from the 200-block of Bay Street on the Galloping Goose.
Police received the report Tuesday, but say the pet snake has actually been missing since July 2, which makes things difficult, according to reptile expert Haylo Walker.
“They don’t travel far, fast, but over a month he could be literally anywhere,” said Walker, who works at Creatures Pet Store in Victoria.
Even though the non-venomous python has gone rogue, Walker says there is no real need to worry for pets or otherwise.
“I don’t think it could take down a chihuahua,” said the reptile expert, holding her own ball python named Maple. “If one of those guys bit you, it’s not going to hurt. A snake this size couldn’t take down anything bigger than a large rat. they aren’t great hunters.”
MacIntyre says the snake got out of a backpack.
“We know that it was in the 200-block of Bay Street in someone’s backpack on the Galloping Goose trail, and it went missing from there.”
Victoria Animal Control says if you happen to see the snake, do not pick it up. The best thing to do is take a picture and note its location and send the information to animal control who will then come down to safely capture the slithering serpent.
Walker says it is most likely hiding underneath something and curled up in a ball, which is where it got its name from.
She says ball pythons can live up to 50 years old and need to eat less than once a year, so it finds warm shelter in the winter, the sneaky snake could happily live in the Island environment for decades.