Burnaby’s parks maintenance crews spotted a three-foot-long ball python snake on a trail at Burnaby Mountain at noon on Monday.
When crews came across the reptile, they were unsure if it originated from the park or if it had come from somewhere else. City officials said their crews took photos of the python and waited for verification from the B.C. Wildlife Rescue Association.
But once it was confirmed that it was not an indigenous species, it was too late – crews could not locate the python.
UPDATE: The pythons have been recovered and taken to a rescue shelter.
The search is still ongoing according to Dave Ellenwood, the city’s parks director. “Our staff are up there right now as well as the SPCA staff looking around to see if they can find it again,” he told Vancity Buzz.
However, Ellenwood maintains that the python is not a threat and was relatively small in size. In fact, the python is in danger of being spotted by other predators like coyotes or dogs.
“It was also non-venomous. So it’s something that the Wildlife Rescue Association said wouldn’t be a threat,” he said.
If the python is located, it will be removed and taken to the shelter for further examination by experts. Attempts will be made to find a new home for the python, such as a reptile sanctuary.
It cannot be confirmed, but Ellenwood suspects that the python was dumped there by its previous owner.
“That’s something that unfortunately happens rarely, where someone has an exotic pet, they can’t manage it so they think it’s a good idea to dump it in a park which is, like I said, irresponsible,” he said. “It usually leads to the death of the snake. It’s not their natural habitat and they can’t cope.”
Ellenwood warns that if you want an exotic pet, be responsible and consider all the challenges before purchasing it. “That’s something nobody likes to see. Someone who is irresponsible enough to dump a pet off into a park,”he said.
If you happen to stumble across the python, do not attempt to catch it. You are asked to immediately contact the Burnaby Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department by calling 604-294-7200 or call the Burnaby SPCA at 604-291-7201.
H/T: Burnaby Now