It’s good news for those with a fear of snakes. The ball python that went missing in Victoria last month has been found and safely captured.
Police say the 1.4 metre, or four-and-a-half foot, python slithered out of someone’s backpack on the Galloping Goose Trail in Esquimalt on July 2, but the snake was not reported missing to VicPD until Aug. 4.
Now, it’s been caught after it was seen in the Rockland neighbourhood just before 6 p.m. on Aug 12, according to police.
“Luckily one of the officers that attended is familiar with snakes, I’m really relieved, and was actually able to take the snake into custody without much incident,” said Bowen Oskoko, spokesperson of the VicPD.
The python pet was reported missing from the 200-block of Bay Street, and went on quite the journey,, slithering its way to the 1100-block of Richardson Street, travelling more than three kilometres.
It’s a feat reptile expert Haylo Walker says would have been nearly impossible.
“Four kilometres easily done, but not in a crowded city without being seen, and the way people reacted to the news, he would have been spotted,” said Walker.
Bowen says the VicPD is confident the found snake is the same one that went missing in July, as it is the exact same width, length and colouring. According to Walker, ball pythons can come in hundreds of colours, making the one found even more likely to be the missing snake.
VicPD took the animal to the vet immediately after capturing it without much resistance.
“This is not an everyday occurrence. My understanding is, they didn’t handcuff the snake, as they don’t have hands,” joked Bowen.
After being given a clean bill of health, the serpent is now with Victoria Animal Control, who is trying to reunite the snake with its owner.
“When any animal comes into the pound, it’s our duty to reunite the animals with its lawful owner,” said Senior Officer of Victoria Animal Control Ian Fraser.
“If they choose not to do so, then the snake will become property of the City of Victoria, and we’ll find a new owner for the snake.”
Like it or not, snakes roaming the streets aren’t as rare as you might think.
“Probably two or three times year, a snake comes into the pound for various reasons. It’s not a regular occurrence but it’s not that unusual either,” said Fraser.
Although experts say ball pythons are pretty harmless, they don’t want something like this to happen again. Walker says the best way to transport them is to put them in a snake bag or a pillowcase and tie a knot on top so they cannot escape.
For now, the found snake is safe and waiting to be picked up by its owner, no longer slithering through the streets of Victoria.