Not a hallucination: 7-foot python lost in Seattle park

Aug 13, 2012

A Seattle Animal Shelter spokeswoman says a 7-foot-long python has been reported lost in a city park.

Ann Graves tells Seattlepi.com (http://is.gd/IFQmg5 ) that the nonvenomous snake was reported missing by a man who spends time in Seattle's University District and carries the python as a pet. The shelter spokeswoman says at some point Monday morning, the man was in Ravenna Park when the snake got away.

Pythons kill their prey by squeezing it.

Gravels says pythons are legal in Seattle as long as they're not more than 8 feet long.

Here's the Seattle Police Department's blog post:

Officers On Python Patrol After Snake Escapes In Ravenna Neighborhood

Written by Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on August 13, 2012

Police and wildlife officials searched the Ravenna neighborhood for a cold-blooded killer Monday afternoon, after a six-to-seven-foot python reportedly slithered away from its owner, causing alarm in Seattle’s rodent community.

The snake’s owner reported the scaly situation to police just after 2 pm, and said his albino Burmese Python escaped into a wooded area near NE 61st Street and Brooklyn Avenue.

As police officers and officials from Seattle parks department and Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife search the neighborhood and Cowen/Ravenna Park for the snake, you and your small pets should keep to the trails, and stay away from drainage ditches, thick foliage, and hollow logs, according to Seattle’s resident snake expert, Peter Miller.

Miller, reptile keeper at Woodland Park Zoo, estimates the snake is around 15-20 pounds and says it “has the potential” to be dangerous. ”These guys are ambush predators,” he says. “They find a well protected covered area and they sit and they wait.”

But won’t Seattle’s lukewarm summer nights make short work of the python and its cold, reptilian blood? ”It’ll be fine until wintertime,” Miller says. “Then persistent cold is going to be difficult for it. This weather right now is perfect” for the python.

So, does this mean north Seattle will forever be at the mercy of this unstoppable, inhuman killing machine?

Not likely.

First, Miller points out, “If this animal has lived in captivity its whole life, it may not know how to hunt.” It’s also a bright yellow “designer” snake, and “going to be easier to see,” Miller says.

And remember, Miller says, “they are more afraid of us than we are of them.”

If you see the python in your neighborhood, please call animal control at (206) 386-7387 or 911.