Alexandria Animal Control responded to a report of a python released into the sewers in the 300 block of Buchanan in Old Town in late December. The serpent was later discovered to be a corn snake, and the incident didn’t end well for the reptile.
On Dec. 23, the Alexandria Police Department received a report of a boy releasing a 3-foot python into a field near the intersection of Buchanan and Princess Streets. The report was passed on to Animal Control.
An unnamed Alexandria man who placed the report attempted to talk the boy out of releasing the animal, according to Patrick Cole of Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. The boy told the man he could no longer afford to take care of the snake and then set it free into a field. The man who reported the incident watched the snake slither into a nearby sewer. He tried unsuccessfully to retrieve the reptile.
An Animal Control officer later met with the man who placed the report. He pointed out where he thought the boy who owned the snake lived. The Animal Control officer knocked on the door at the residence at was told no boy or snake lived at the address.
The Animal Welfare League notified the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries of a release of a non-native species.
“It was a sad situation,” Cole said. “Because of the weather, the snake would unfortunately die in the cold or be eaten by another animal.”
On Jan. 5, an Alexandria police officer picked up a dead snake on Buchanan Street. The officer, who had received some training in animal identification, identified the serpent as a corn snake, a species that that are popular pets and, like pythons, use constriction to subdue their prey.
It was determined the corn snake died because of the cold weather, Cole said.
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