She thought it was part of a deer carcass. Turns out, it was a snake
'I just used my boot to flip it over ... and I thought, 'Holy crap, that is a snake'
Amanda Stahl has seen many things while taking her dog on rambles through her 15-acre property near Tofield.
Now she can add frozen boa constrictor to the list.
Stahl made the discovery Sunday while following deer tracks toward a gravel road that borders her property, just south of the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area.
In the snow, she saw blood and assumed that coyotes had killed a deer. She spotted something in the snow and nudged it with her foot, thinking perhaps it was deer leg.
"Then I just used my boot to flip it over and fully exposed the … scaly side. And I thought, 'Holy crap, that is a snake,' " Stahl told CBC's Radio Active on Tuesday.
Stretched to its full, unfrozen length, Stahl estimates the snake would be one-and-a-half to two metres long.
"And it's totally thick. Like I was trying to just wrap one hand around it, you wouldn't be able to."
She posted the photos on Facebook and several people chimed in to suggest it was either a common or red-tailed boa constrictor.
Brendan Cox, a spokesperson for Alberta Fish and Wildlife, said his investigators haven't yet seen the creature to provide confirmation. But he also suspects it was a boa, which is a legal pet in Alberta.
Given the proximity to the road, Stahl wonders if someone dumped their pet snake and coyotes dragged it onto her land.
"I did kind of follow the trail, trying to see if there were human tracks, maybe someone ditched it," she said. "All I saw were coyote tracks and deer tracks. So I'm thinking a coyote must have found it wherever it got loose or wherever someone decided to set their pet snake free."
Boas can grow to more than three metres in length, weigh more than 25 kilograms and live upwards of 30 years. To survive, they require temperatures ranging from 26 C to 35 C.