Snake loose in Halifax apartment 'not considered dangerous'
A snake is still on the loose in a Halifax apartment building, but the reptile is not as dangerous as first reported.
Management at Harbour View Apartments – formerly Ocean Towers – on Brunswick Street sent a letter to tenants on Thursday, asking them to keep an eye out for a small Boa constrictor that had escaped its enclosure.
They said the snake wasn’t poisonous, but warned it could cause harm to small animals and babies, and asked tenants not to leave small pets or children alone until the snake had been found.
However, Capreit, the Toronto-based company that owns the building, released the following statement a few hours later:
“We would like to apologize to tenants for any alarm that our first resident memo may have caused…experts we have consulted have advised us that this type of docile animal is often kept as a pet and is not considered dangerous.”
The company also says the snake is actually a ball python, and not a Boa constrictor as first reported.
“It was blown out of proportion at first and now people are starting to recognize what we are up against,” says pest remover Terry McLeod.
Wildlife experts worked overnight to locate the snake, even demolishing walls and other areas of the impacted suite, but so far attempts to locate the pet have been unsuccessful.
“We have the place torn apart up there,” says McLeod. “We have all the clothes in bags. We have the fridge pulled out and part of the wall knocked down.”
Capreit isn’t speaking to media, but it did release the following statement on Friday:
“We will continue to try to work with the pet owner to locate the animal and we sincerely apologize for causing any unnecessary concern as we were assessing the initial situation.”
It is unclear how the snake, which measures about 1.5 feet long, escaped its enclosure.
Meanwhile, staff at the Maritime Reptile Zoo have been taking calls and fielding questions since tenants were alerted to the incident on Thursday.
“Should I be worried about my pet? Should I be worried about my kid? And when it’s a ball python, the answer is always no,” says Mike MacDonald, curator of the Maritime Reptile Zoo.
MacDonald says ball pythons are popular pets because they pose no threat to cats or dogs and don’t grow very large. He says they are also quite docile.
“How they actually got the name ball python is, when they’re scared, they actually curl up into a ball, tuck their head in the middle,” says MacDonald. “It actually hides their head and protects themselves. So that’s their typical reaction when startled or frightened.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Jayson Baxter