Animal Services finds python in apartment oven

Ball python courtesy of Beaumont Animal Services
Courtesy of Beaumont Animal Services - Ball python

When responding to a call regarding a large snake inside an apartment, Beaumont Animal Services personnel shockingly discovered a 2-foot long ball python concealed inside the resident's oven.

According to a news release, Beaumont Animal Services Officer Ben Dykes received quite a surprise the morning of April 24 when responding to the call concerning the snake inside a local apartment within the Cardinal Square Apartments at 1280 Saxe St. in south Beaumont. When the animal control officer arrived at the scene, the resident told him that she last saw the “giant” snake in the kitchen of her apartment. Dykes began searching high and low for the reptile, looking inside, on top of and under all the cabinets. Dykes then moved his search to the fridge, where he looked underneath and behind it to no avail. The resident was insistent the snake was still in the kitchen because she had been watching it while she was waiting for the officer. As he began to question the validity of the call, Dykes peeked underneath and behind the stove. He then noticed movement through a hole in the rear of the oven, but saw nothing when he opened the top of it. He then opened the main oven compartment, and there it was: a "very healthy" ball python.

Dykes removed the snake from the residence and took it the animal shelter where it will be housed until the owner can be located, reports Beaumont Animal Services.

Ball pythons are the most popular python species in the exotic pet industry, originating in western Africa. Most pythons range in size from 3-4 feet in length but some have been known to grow as long as 6 feet. The python apprehended Monday appears to be about 2-foot long and either "very healthy or possibly pregnant," according to shelter personnel. 

Animal services originally estimated the length of the snake as 4-foot long, but upon final measuring, the reptile proved to be closer to 2-foot long, said Fortenberry.

He said it is likely this snake escaped from its owner, or that the owner released it into the wild, which is illegal.

"You can't release exotic species into the community," Fortenberry warned.

If no one comes to claim the python, Animal Services could adopt it out, and at least one party has already come forward expressing interest. Alternatively, Animal Services could add the Ball python to its snake education program, an initiative that educates local students about snakes by introducing them to one. Fortenberry said Animal Services already has one snake in the program, a lavender King snake, the coloring of which he described as somewhat opalesque.

Animal Services is still working to determine the identity of the owner of the Ball python found in the oven. Anyone with information of who the snake belongs to is urged to call Beaumont Animal Services at (409) 838-3304, and ask for the Director of Animal Control, Matthew Fortenberry. Proof of ownership will be required.

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