Python slithers into police custody in Melrose

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Sep 17, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

A police officer captured a three-foot python last week after it was found slithering around the streets of Melrose.

Police responded to a report of a snake on Penny Road, near Dexter Road, around 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3.

“It was definitely a small constricting snake,” Lt. Mark DeCroteau told the Free Press. “It wasn’t a typical snake native to this area.”

The responding officer was able to pick up the reptile and safely bring it back to the station. It was transferred to Canine Control Officer Diane Kurkjian the following day.

Kurkjian believes the snake is likely a “ball python,” which she said is a popular breed to have as a pet.

“I don’t think they’re really dangerous,” she added. “They’re fairly docile from what I’ve read.”

The snake, whose name is derived from its tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened, mostly eats mice and small rats. It is not venomous.

Kurkjian said the python could have been a pet that got loose from its home, or was released in the area by someone who didn’t want to continuing caring for it.

“It’s hard to tell which one this is,” she said.

Either way, had the snake gone unnoticed, Kurkjian said it would not have been able to live in the wild as it’s accustomed to warm climates.

“They wouldn’t survive the winter,” Kurkjian said. “It probably would have just frozen from the cold.”

Kurkjian was able to find the snake a foster parent outside the city Sept. 4.

“Someplace where he could be suitably cared for,” she said. “We’re assuming we won’t find the owner.”

Residents who spot unfamiliar snakes in the area should call Kurkjian at 781-979-4102 or the police station at 781-665-1212.

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