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Metre long python on the loose in Vancouver

Python on the loose in Vancouver conservation area

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 5:05 PM - A non-venomous ball python is on the loose in a metro Vancouver conservation area. Animal experts say it is native to Africa, and likely won't survive long once the weather cools.

City of Burnaby staff photographed the snake near Simon Fraser University Monday afternoon. They took the photo to a local wild animal rescue group who determined the reptile is not native to Canada.

Staff returned to the park to capture the python, which is less than a metre long and "shy", but it had slithered away.

“What we generally do is we try and consult people who know more than we do about these sort of things,” Dave Ellenwood, Burnaby's city’s director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural, told the Globe and Mail.

“And that’s when they got the information that it was an exotic pet. They speculate that somebody probably dumped it in the park ... irresponsible people will think it’s a good idea to take an exotic pet and dump it off in an open space, a green space, thinking it would be better off for it.”

While it's not common to see exotic pets abandoned in Burnaby parks, Ellenwood tells the Globe and Mail it has happened before.

Experts don't think the python will survive long in the wild due to cold temperatures on the Burnaby Mountain, rough terrain and the risk of predators.

City and SPCA staff continue to search for the python. In the meantime, park visitors have been warned to keep an eye out for it.

Sources: CBC | The Globe and Mail

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