An exotic snake is on the loose in Winnipeg, and though it is not venomous, the city is asking residents to be on the lookout for the slithering reptile.
The city’s Animal Services Officers and Winnipeg Police Service Cadets are still searching for an African ball python which was spotted near the University of Manitoba over the weekend.
Prasad Gowdar was driving home on Friday when he spotted the snake sitting on the road along Innovation Drive, swerving to avoid hitting it.
At first glance, Gowdar said he thought it was a garter snake, but when he saw the orange and black markings and the size of it – stretching out about three-quarters of a metre (approximately 2.5 feet) – he said he knew it was something he had not seen in Manitoba before.
“I didn’t get out of the car, I felt safe in there – I’m not fond of snakes,” Gowdar told CTV News, who said he went home to tell his spouse, who is a biologist, about the incident.
“Just the size of it stuck out in my mind.”
Gowdar said he went back to the area to get some pictures of the snake, and found it just about exactly where it had been before.
After bringing the pictures back to his spouse, Gowdar said the two took to the internet to figure out they had just seen, discovering it to be an African ball python.
The City of Winnipeg has confirmed the snake has been identified as the African ball python.
“Ball pythons are part of the exotic animal pet trade and are native to Africa,” a spokesperson for the city told CTV News in an email. “They are non-venomous.”
Ball pythons can grow to be between 1.2 and 1.5 metres in length.