boa constrictor

14-Foot Boa Constrictor Found on Roof of Wisconsin Home

Deputies felt the "giant" description of the snake was a bit of an "undersell."

Sheriff's deputies in northwestern Wisconsin recently received a call to deal with an animal they don't see too often: "a giant snake." The adventurous serpent slipped out of her enclosure while her owners were away, making it up onto the roof of the Chetek home. According to Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald, a neighbor was reptile-sitting the boa constrictor at the time of the June 18 call.

Sheriff's Capt. Jason Hagen was tasked with capturing the creature since "he owned a snake for a while when he was younger," Fitzgerald told the Star Tribune. "He knows all about snakes." On the other hand, Fitzgerald was just fine observing from the other side of the street as Hagen grabbed a pole typically used for hanging Christmas lights and scaled a ladder to get closer to the snake. Hagen was able to pull it off the roof, although it did get stuck in the gutter at one point. Eventually, the reptile was secured and taken into temporary custody.

The large reptile turned out to be a female red-tailed boa constrictor, measuring just over 14 feet long. While wild boa constrictors tend only to reach 10 feet, the University of Michigan says the largest recorded is 13 feet long. Red-tailed boa constrictors are a popular exotic pet throughout the United States and can grow much larger in captivity. In its Facebook post, the Barron County Sheriff's Department noted that the description of "giant" was a bit of an "undersell." Wildlife supervisor Bryan Harvey at Plunkett's Pest Control and his employees told the Star Tribune that the snake was likely 4 to 6 years old.

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Snakes are allowed as pets in Chetek, and officers know they are around the area despite the cold climate. Officers just aren't used to seeing them on a roof!

READ MORE: A Quick Guide to All 18 Species of Michigan Snakes