Australian police officers caught a boa constrictor and let it go, thinking it was a harmless python.
Police were called after someone spotted a large snake on The Esplanade at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast of Australia. Officers caught the snake and then let it go in the bush at Southport Spit. It wasn’t until after they had let the snake go that it was identified as a six-and-a-half-foot South American boa constrictor.
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The snake was believed to be a python, which are relatively harmless. A South American boa constrictor is a bit more dangerous.
“These snakes could wipe out entire species of reptiles and they have been known to eat cats and dogs,” Gold Coast snake catcher Tony Harrison told The Gold Coast Bulletin.
These snakes are not native to Australia but are believed to be imported as pets and then let loose when they grow too big. They can be carriers of multiple diseases and can threaten other reptile species, as well as small mammals.
Efforts in trying to once again find the snake are in full force. Officers in Australia urge people to send them notice if they spot the boa constrictor at firstname.lastname@example.org.