Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Nearly 5 foot long snake found in Ottawa resident’s yard

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Residents of the 2100 block of Post Street in Ottawa were startled on Sunday night when a nearly 5-foot-long snake was found in a yard.

The snake was found at about 9 p.m. by a local resident, who immediately alerted the police.

Upon arrival, the Ottawa Police Department safely contained the snake. Although it did not pose any immediate threat to the residents at that time, the run-in raised questions about how the snake ended up in the yard.

“The snake was kept at the police department overnight,” said Ottawa Police Capt. Kyle Booras. “We spent most of the time trying to figure out who it belonged to.”

After being unable to locate where the snake came from, the police handed it over to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police the following morning. Conservation authorities then took custody of the animal to ensure it would be properly cared for and assessed.

Illinois Conservation Police Capt. Michael Filipiak said the IDNR is keeping custody of the snake until they can find a relocation home for it.

The snake was identified as a ball python, a non-venomous snake that is usually kept as a pet because of its gentle nature. That’s why authorities suspect it likely was an escaped or abandoned pet.

“I would assume it’s a pet that either got out on its own or was intentionally released,” Booras said. “I don’t know for sure but obviously they’re not indigenous to this area, so it’s not a wild animal.”

Booras mentioned Ottawa police and Conservation Police are continuing the investigation to determine the snake’s owners and to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

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