Escaped ball python missing for a month will show itself eventually: animal control

An escaped ball python that’s been on the loose in Victoria for a month will eventually show itself, either to sun itself or feed, says the manager of Animal Control Services.

Ian Fraser and his team are ready to answer the call to capture the four-foot-long, non-venemous snake, which went missing July 2 but wasn’t reported to police until Tuesday.

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Victoria police have issued a warning about the ball python, which disappeared in the vicinity of the 200 block of Bay Street, near the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.

Fraser said missing snakes are not unusual for animal control.

The organization gets several calls for loose snakes, and they eventually find most of them.

He said the snakes may stay hidden in a cool dark place, but because they are cold-blooded creatures they will come out to warm their bodies on a rock, asphalt or piece of concrete.

They also need to hunt, said Fraser, and will likely look for mice or rats to ease their hunger.

“They can be anywhere, so we can’t really go out looking,” he said. “We’ll wait for someone to call and then go get it.”

Fraser has been involved in several snake captures over the years, including a large corn snake in a sewer line that was eventually captured using dead mice as bait.

Fraser also captured another large pet snake near the Janion Hotel building several years ago. It escaped weeks before and there were continued sightings in a nearby grocery market and a flower shop before it appeared on a rock amid blackberry bushes near the Johnson Street Bridge.

“They eventually show themselves,” Fraser said.

He said constrictor snakes kill their prey by squeezing. “When the prey exhales, the snake tightens up,” he said.

Fraser said the missing ball python isn’t that big and will likely stick to mice for food. “It might be able to kill a kitten,” he said. “But not a chihuahua. It’s not that big of a snake.”

Police ask anyone who seeks the python to call 911. If you have any additional information, call the non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.

dkloster@timescolonist.com

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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