Exotic snake found at Leddy Park - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Exotic snake found at Leddy Park

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There are lots of things that start with S at Leddy Park in Burlington: sun, sand and snakes.

"Creepy," said Olivia Calderin of Burlington.

"Snakes are a big deal," said Andrew Kozlowski of Burlington.

Monday, Burlington Police responded to the park after a call about an exotic snake hanging out near the parking lot.

"Certainly overwhelming, approximately 5 feet in length boa constrictor," Burlington Police Sgt. Jonathan Young said.

"I would have probably screamed because I never saw a snake that long before," Calderin said.

"I probably would have ran like a little girl," said Chris O'Neil of Essex.

Big snakes bring big fears to mind, but experts say some snakes make great pets.

"There's a very specific niche of people that enjoy these snakes," said Madeleine Dawson, who owns the Pet Advantage in South Burlington.

Dawson says there are many breeds of boa constrictors, but says it was most likely a Columbian red tail.

"The snakes kept legally in the state are not going to grow to a size that's dangerous to the public," Dawson said. "At the most they would be dangerous to a small house cat or they're looking for small rodents to eat."

Dawson says these types of boa constrictors live 15 to 20 years and are on a diet of small rats.

Police believe the Leddy Park snake was someone's pet, but no one has reported a slithering reptile missing.

"It's just totally inhumane to that animal," Dawson said. "If you're going to buy an animal like this you're making a lifetime commitment."

It was picked up from the park by a wildlife group.

"It was taken to a rehabilitation site specifically for snakes and they don't wish to be identified at this time," Young said.

So for now, the snake is in hiding. And that's just fine with park-goers.

"Anaconda eats everybody, it's pretty scary," Kozlowski said.

And just remember, this isn't the movies.

Pet experts say that a boa constrictor would not make it through a Vermont winter.

Anyone who knows where the snake came from is asked to call Burlington Police at 802-658-2700.

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