17-foot python loose in Meadow Lakes, Mat-Su animal control warns

A image from Mat-Su Animal Control warning of the loose python. They noted that the photo of the snake is the yellow and white color pattern of the snake and they’re awaiting an actual photo of the snake. (Courtesy of Mat-Su Animal Control)

Mat-Su animal control said a 100-pound python is on the loose in Meadow Lakes.

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Borough officials say the snake has been missing for two days and could be a threat to small children or pets. They say residents in the West Mallard Lane area should keep an eye on their yards and beware of any warm hiding spots on their property.

Animal control officer Darla Erskine said the yellow-and-white snake’s owner lost track of it and started going door to door to warn his neighbors.

That’s when Erskine got a disturbing call.

“I’ll take the dogs, cats, guinea pigs and rabbits cases, but yeah, I’m the one who got the call, so I’m facing my fears,” Erskine said. “His 17-foot albino Burmese python had gotten loose out of the house. He was doing some yard work and left the door open and couldn’t find the snake anywhere. This is an unusual animal. It can eat a 25-pound rabbit. It could lay in waiting. We were concerned we’ve needed to get the word out, because it’s a public safety issue in our minds.”

An advisory statement from the borough says that animal control officers expect cold temperatures to weaken the snake or compel it to seek a warm place.

Mat Su Animal Control says the snake is most likely dead because of the cold.

But Erskine said the cold temps might also have caused the snake to go into hibernation.

“Then he could come out, come out of hibernation, when we have a warm up to an 80 or 90 degree day, so I’d really like to find him one way or the other.”

Anyone who sees the snake is asked to call 911 or the Mat Su Animal Care department at 761-7501.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Casey here

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