BANGOR, Maine — A 3-foot snake found in a vacant Biddeford house on Saturday night soon will be reunited with its owner.
The snake was found by a woman who had the homeowner’s permission to stay at a home on Sky Oaks Drive, Deputy Chief JoAnne Fisk said Monday.
A police officer sent to the home reportedly identified the snake as a python and called the warden service to come and get it, a job that fell to Warden Carlton Richardson.
Snake wrangling is not one his preferred work details, Richardson said Monday.
Richardson said when snake calls come in to the warden service, they usually involve such common Maine types as garter and milk snakes, so he asked the Biddeford officer to sent him a photo.
“When he sent me the picture, it’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s not a Maine snake. That’s a ball python,’” he said.
The woman who found the snake, identified by CBS 13 as Winifred Boucher, told the station that she was told the snake was a boa constrictor.
Asked if the snake was male or female, Richardson had this to say:
“I don’t like snakes, so to be looking this thing over to see if it’s a male or female, you know, I don’t have enough knowledge to call that,” he said.
Richardson said the snake was found on a window sill over the kitchen sink, where it likely had been sunning itself. So he donned a pair of gloves and coaxed the python into a 5-gallon bucket with a lid.
Richardson said his initial plan was to turn the snake over to a Kennebunk animal shelter in an effort to find a placement.
Through some detective work, however, Richardson learned that the snake belonged to a University of New England student from Massachusetts who was among a group who rented the house last semester. The student moved out when classes ended in May, Richardson said.
The student since has made arrangements to have a friend from the Biddeford area collect the pet on Monday afternoon so that it could be returned to him.
Although they are not native to the area, no special permit is required to own one, Richardson said.
“It’s one of those snakes that the state allows people to have as a pet. People will usually do a ball [python] because they’re a bit smaller,” he said. “They usually have a pretty good girth on them. They don’t tend to get 10 feet long. Usually 3 feet is an average size of them.”