7-Foot-Long Boa Constrictor on the Loose in Philadelphia Suburb

If you live in Delaware County, you may want to be on alert for a 7-foot-long snake missing since Monday

By Lauren DiSanto and David Chang
|  Thursday, Aug 15, 2013  |  Updated 4:24 PM EDT
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NBC10's George Spencer reports on the 7-foot-long boa constrictor that is on the loose in Swarthmore, Pa. If you encounter the snake, then call the police.

NBC10 - George Spencer

NBC10's George Spencer reports on the 7-foot-long boa constrictor that is on the loose in Swarthmore, Pa. If you encounter the snake, then call the police.

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A boa constrictor named "Snakie" is on the loose in Swarthmore.

But don't worry.

That's 7 slithering feet of friendliness, according to the snake's owner, David Spiegel, a local veterinarian.

"When it's summertime we give him the privilege of being outside among nature," Spiegel said.

Spiegel reported Snakie missing to police on Monday. Snakie was last seen in the bushes in the backyard of Spiegel's veterinary practice on 400 Yale Avenue in Swarthmore. When Spiegel came to check on him about half an hour later however, he was gone.

"Snakes are amazing escape and amazing hiding animals," said Kevin Murphy, general curator at the Philadelphia Zoo.

Police Chief Brian Craig described this as a fairly unusual call for their department and is urging people to be on alert.

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"I think they should be aware it's out there and if they see it to call 911 immediately, and we'll do whatever is necessary," he said.

Chief Craig says Spiegel is posting flyers to alert neighbors about the missing snake.

"A 7-foot boa constrictor could give you a pretty significant bite, but nothing lethal," said Murphy, who says these snakes are not aggressive, but they do have the potential to be defensive.

"If it's hiding in a hole, behind something or underneath something, and someone goes to disturb it or try and grab it, it certainly could bite," said Murphy.

Boa constrictors are carnivores, but they typically go after small prey.

As for where it may be hiding?

"It will find someplace it feels secure, so usually with structure around it," said Murphy.

Snakie ate about ten days ago and normally eats small rats every three to four weeks, according to Spiegel.

"So we kind of have, like, two and a half weeks left?" asked Swarthmore resident Carly Levy. "Awesome! And then we'll move!"

 


Contact Lauren DiSanto at 610.668.5705, lauren.disanto@nbcuni.com

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