'Just call us snake whisperers': Saskatoon police get their reptile
Police find boa constrictor slithering down 8th Street
A boa constrictor that slithered its way into Saskatoon police custody is recovering well from her brief adventure, according to the local snake wrangler who is taking care of her.
Police got the unusual call on Sunday evening. A large snake, it turns out, was making its way down a rural section of Eighth Street, just east of the city.
The caller, according to a police Facebook post, said they were "99 per cent sure that there was a boa constrictor."
In the Facebook post, police said they were able to corral the snake into a large plastic container they borrowed from a passing motorist.
"Just call us 'snake whisperers,'" the post said.
In a separate post, the Saskatchewan Association of Conservation Officers is reminding people it's illegal to own exotic or venomous snakes without a permit in the province.
Those permits are usually restricted to animal rescue centres, zoos and animal farms.
The association says it believes the snake was owned as a pet before being dropped off outside the city.
"It is believed that this particular snake may have been held illegally, and was dumped after the owner decided that they no longer wanted or could take care of it anymore," the post says.
Snake wrangler caring for 'Pip'
The snake is now in the care of Elisa Wilkie, a Saskatoon snake wrangler. Wilkie said that aside from a few bumps and bruises and mild dehydration, the boa constrictor is recovering well. Her son named the snake, believed to be four years old, "Pip."
"Pip was actually in really good shape when she came in. She had a couple bent roughed-up scales, but that is to be expected when you see one loose," Wilkie said.
She said while it's illegal to own a boa constrictor without a permit in Saskatchewan, they are perfectly legal to own as pets in some other parts of the country.
She also said contrary to popular belief, not all constrictors are dangerous to handle.
"They are very misunderstood because of their name. People hear 'boa constrictor' and they are, like, 'Oh no.' It's all about how you take care of them. If you handle them, teach them to trust people, they are going to be very good about handling," she said.
The snake will now be in Wilkie's care for the next 30 days. She said there have already been offers from at least two people who are willing to give Pip a permanent home.
As for police, they are thanking the passing motorist who gave them a large plastic container to transport the snake.