No people or pets were hurt, but there was a lot of nervous residents in Grantfork a couple weeks ago when they heard about a perp police were tracking — a 9 1/2 -foot boa constrictor.
Grantfork Police Chief Justin Rottmann said he got the call around 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 12 that the the huge serpent had snuck away from its owner and was on the loose.
The snake belonged to a newer village resident, who also has three others, one more boa and two pythons, Rottmann said. The other three snakes are all between four and five feet long, and the owner typically keeps them caged inside his house. However, Rottmann said the owner told police he had taken two of the snakes outside to “sun” themselves, when the one slipped away.
Rottmann, who was not on duty, called the Madison County Sheriff’s Office for help. A deputy eventually found the snake several hours later wrapped up inside the engineer compartment of the owner’s truck.
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According to National Geographic, boas can grow up to 13 feet long and weigh more than 100 pounds. They are not venomous. Their jaws are lined with small, hooked teeth for grabbing and holding prey while they wrap their muscular bodies around their victim, squeezing until it suffocates. Boas will eat almost anything they can catch, from birds to pigs. Their jaws can stretch wide to swallow large prey whole.
Rottmann said there is no state law requiring special permits for owing such snakes, but the statutes do require them to be secured. He said the owner was cooperative and that no charges will be filed this time.
“(The owner) has been advised they have to be locked up at all times,” Rottmann said.