Chatham County Animal Control officers are trying to find the owner of an 11-foot Albino Burmese Python that they captured Saturday.
Animal Control officers received a call Saturday from a storage unit about a 12-foot snake, said Officer Kelsey Pepper. Officer Kelly Rouse answered the call, and Pepper went to assist him, she said. The snake ended up measuring 11 feet, she said.
“This time of year we typically get calls for a snake in a house and they might say it is 6 feet long” but it will be about 3 feet at most, Rouse said.
The python “is by far the largest snake” he has caught, Rouse said.
“There’s no means as far as a snake trap you could capture it in,” he said. “It’s hands-on 100 percent.”
Animal Control officers posted information about the snake on their website. “If someone does not come forward in five business days, we can adopt her or get her to a new home,” Pepper said.
“It was a very docile snake. Someone was taking very good care of it,” she said. “We’re making a logical assumption that someone was storing it” in the storage unit because it was unlikely the python would have been loose and found its way into the unit, she said.
The snake appeared to be well-fed, and apparently was accustomed to being handled, Rouse said. He had been handling dogs and cats at the shelter, and even though those scents were on him, the python did not go after him, Rouse said.
Pythons are not poisonous, and do not have fangs. They do have large teeth, which sink into their prey, which they can crush.
“By and large, they’re gentle giants,” said Chad Griffin, who owns CCSB Reptile Rescue and Rehab Center in Kernersville, which is holding the snake for Chatham County. They can pose a danger to the public, but they also have their purpose in the wild, among them killing birds that carry diseases, Griffin said. His television show, “Reptile Rangers,” tries to dispel some of the irrational fear of snakes, he said.
Animal Control officers urge anyone who sees a large snake to call a professional. “If you see a large snake ... be cautious and do not approach it,” Pepper said. “You do not know how much it has been handled. The best thing you can do is call it in.”