Reptile rescue cares for 7-foot boa constrictor found near Brecksville homes

BRECKSVILLE, Ohio-- An unusual and unwanted guest slithered into a Brecksville neighborhood, stunning both neighbors and police.

“There’s a large boa constrictor crossing the street,” said a surprised officer as he called dispatch asking for the animal warden to respond.

The 7-foot-long female boa was so large she actually flattened grass and left a visible path near homes on Chapel Hill Road off Route 21.

“On my driveway, it took up a whole slab. I thought that’s pretty large,” said Meredith Black, whose sister first saw the boa and called police. “She said I think something’s in its belly too.”

Animal control needed a large barrel to wrangle the snake, and then brought her to the 501C3 non-profit reptile rescue Herps Alive Foundation in South Euclid.

“We are the largest reptile rescue organization in the country right now,” said Keith Gisser, executive director and founder.

Gisser said the 7-foot boa weighs about 23 pounds and is probably between six and 10 years old. All things considered, she is also in amazing condition and was also probably someone’s pet that was released into the parks.

“This is too beautiful, too valuable of an animal. If it were an escapee the owner would be trying to find her,” Gisser said. “I believe the snake either got too big, or the owner couldn't take care of her for some reason and rather than making a few phone calls chose to release the animal.”

That angers Gisser, who, along with his volunteers, is always ready and willing to rescue and re-home reptiles from turtles to snakes and lizards.

“If you own an animal, don’t release it. If you’re going to buy a pet, do your research first — know how big the animal may get and know how long the animal might live and understand the care,” Gisser said.

The boa most likely would’ve died when the weather turned cold, but now is being cared for by Gisser until she is ready for adoption.

“Someone could’ve gotten hurt, an animal or a small child, so it’s unfortunate the snake was out roaming the streets,” Black said. "I’m glad to hear that it’s in a safe place right now and hopefully will find a forever home soon.”

More information on the Herps Alive Foundation here

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