There’s been a whole lot of slithering going on in Western Massachusetts. A ball python was found by a sewage treatment plant employee in the town of Montague Thursday, just a week after one was found by a man fishing on the bank of the Connecticut River in the town.
The sewage treatment employee discovered the python on the ground near an outside tank at the facility; workers caught the snake and put it in a trash barrel before calling police, according to The Recorder of Greenfield.
The python ended up in the hands of a former employee of Black Jungle Terrarium Supply in Turners Falls, a shop that deals with reptiles and exotic plants, said the store’s co-owner, Richard Revis. Revis said the same person also adopted the python found near the river, which is close to the sewage plant, as the fisherman didn’t want to leave it there.
“It’s very likely they were released by the owner,” Revis said, because ball pythons are native to Africa and cannot survive in a New England environment. “They can’t survive a winter here, so turning them loose is a death sentence. It’s an absolutely cruel thing to do.”
Ball pythons, named for the way they coil up when picked up as a defense mechanism, are not considered aggressive and tend to hide in trees or wedge into rockpiles, Revis said. They’re one of the smallest species of python and grow to about four or five feet.
“They were in good condition, nice and fat, and not skinny or dehydrated. They could easily survive many months without eating.” Revis said. “But the responsible thing to do would be to put an ad online or see if anyone wants to take them instead of turning them loose.”Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.