Those thinking it would be a great idea having an exotic pet such as a big snake should do their research and seriously consider the consequences for the animal.
That’s the warning from Delta Community Animal Shelter following the reported discovery of a dead Ball python along the Ladner slough on Sunday.
Mercedes Gelech posted on the Ladner’s Landing Facebook page a couple of grim photos of what appeared to be a large dead python on the rocks within the brush behind her parents’ house. The immediate speculation was that it could have been the Ball python reported missing last June.
Delta police at the time were informed that a Ball python snake, which was about six-feet-long, named "Gypsy" went missing in a farmer’s field, but officers did not have an exact location where the snake was last seen.
Officers were in contact earlier with the owner when a man was reported to be sleeping outside of Walmart at the Tsawwasssen Commons Mall with a large snake. Upon police request, the man and snake relocated to their nearby minivan.
Police noted that Ball pythons are not venomous, and apparently are a popular choice for those wanting a pet snake, as they are known to have more of a docile temperament.
This type of snake is known to curl up in a ball when stressed or frightened. In the wild their diet is primarily small mammals such as rats, mice and birds.
Animal shelter manager Ryan Voutilainen told the Optimist someone had reportedly since removed the snake carcass and staff are trying to reach out to that individual through social media. Also noting that the whereabouts of the snake owner from last summer is unknown, Voutilainen said there’s no way of confirming if the snake reportedly discovered on the weekend is the same that went missing last year, or if it was the pet of someone else who had a python and let it loose when it became too much to care for.
“All you have to do is look at incidents where these types of exotic animals have gotten loose and end up in situations where they are suffering out there. They’re not native to here and once you get into this time of year, they will succumb to the elements. It’s a bad way for them to die and there’s not even necessarily enough of a food supply for them either,” said Voutilainen.
This Ladner's Landing Facebook post is from a woman claiming to have discovered a large dead snake which appears to be a python
“Even in areas where there are, and just look at Florida where these animals do survive out in the wild and now they’re causing problems in the natural ecosystems there. Ball pythons are not native to Florida, for example. Then you have these situations where people have these exotics in their home and aren’t able to care for them anymore and it’s very limited as to the availability of other organizations with people who have the expertise to care for these animals, and a lot of them end up inundated with these exotics because people realize that these pets do require such specialized care," he added.
“The big message is if you are bringing these animals in your home, you strongly consider the welfare of that animal and if you are able to meet that animal’s needs and what you’re able to do if you’re in a position where you’re not able to care for it anymore.”