WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve received reports of a boa constrictor on the loose.
The sheriff’s office says community members who left tips said they spotted the snake near Indian Mounds Drive in Walker. The area is located close to Millenium and Johnson Parks. Sheriff’s deputies say the snake is believed to be a pet that got away from a home.
The sheriff’s office says Kent County’s park staff have been made aware of the snake but they are not actively looking for it.
This isn’t the first time a snake has gotten loose in Kent County. More than 40 years ago, “Big Sid,” a circus python that got loose in Standale, made it to national headlines. That snake was a reported 16-feet long and 140 pounds. Kids were advised to stay indoors as city leaders and local police spent several days looking for the reptile.
News 8 spoke with one parkgoer Wednesday who lived in the area when Big Sid was the talk of the town.
“It doesn’t scare me but the first thing that comes to mind is Big Sid from the 70s and 80s or whenever that was. That was up near Standale, so not too far from here. Who knows maybe this is one of Big Sid’s proteges,” said Deskin Miller as he walked his dogs in Johnson Park Wednesday. “It was a big news story. Everyone was talking about Big Sid and I’m sure he never did any damage but it was something to talk about. We don’t have many boa constrictors or pythons around here.”
John Ball Zoo Conservation Manager Bill Flanagan said boa constrictors are typically 8- to 10-feet long and he doesn’t recommend keeping them as pets. Flanagan said they typically eat a wide variety of food like birds and small mammals and are known to kill their prey by putting pressure on their bodies, sometimes causing cardiac arrest prior to strangulation. He said the snakes are generally not a threat to humans but when released into the wild, they can be a source of pathogens to local populations.
Staff with the Kent County Parks Department say so far they have not personally seen the snake. They urge anyone who spots the animal to call animal control.
Do not attempt to catch it yourself or interact with the animal.