Manitoba

Snake in custody after 2 days on the slither: Winnipeg police

A large, white snake that's been on the loose in Winnipeg for the last two days has been found not far from where it was first spotted, Winnipeg police say.

Snake originally spotted on Ebby Avenue, not far from where it was caught

A Winnipeg police officer poses with the snake that's been slithering through the city's Fort Rouge neighbourhood for two days. (Submitted by Winnipeg Police Service)

A large, white snake that has been on the loose in Winnipeg for the last two days has been found not far from where it was first spotted, Winnipeg police say.

Just before 3 p.m. CT, police were called to the corner of Pembina Highway and Lilac Street where they found the serpent, who had been slithering through the Fort Rouge neighbourhood. It was last spotted in the area on Saturday.

Garry Espiritu, the manager of Fitness Experience, confirms a customer of his spotted the snake as she was leaving on Monday afternoon.

"The customer was moving out of the store, she opened the door and she screamed. And then I check it out because why was she screaming and then I saw there's a snake by the door, like she almost [stepped] on it," he said.

Espiritu said he saw a story on the news about the snake. He knew it wasn't dangerous but that he should call 911.

Members of the City of Winnipeg's Animal Services Agency searched the Ebby Avenue area for a large white snake but came up empty on Saturday. (Submitted by Breno Martins)

"I'm keeping [an] eye on it because I don't want that snake to get loose again," he says he told police. "You better get here because it is moving."

He says he never expected to see a snake like that in Winnipeg.

"I'm from the Philippines and there's a lot of snakes there, but it's been 10 years since the last time I've seen a snake," he said.

Moments later, police arrived and put it in a box to hand over to the City of Winnipeg's Animal Services Agency.

Police say they only received two tips about the snake being spotted — the original tip where a man saw it while mowing his lawn on Ebby Avenue, and this tip that resulted in its capture roughly a block away.

Rob Vendramelli, a volunteer with the Manitoba Herpetocultural Society, said in an interview on the weekend that the reptile was probably hiding until it needed to come out to search for food or water.

Based on the description provided by police and pictures he's seen, Vendramelli believes it's likely a corn snake. The city's animal services agency believes that as well.

The reptiles are common as pets and legal in Winnipeg.

The snake has a slight surface injury and has been transported for veterinary care, a city spokesperson said. 

The snake will be held as a stray and, if it isn't claimed, will be given a new home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rachel Bergen is a journalist for CBC Manitoba and previously reported for CBC Saskatoon. Find her on Twitter at @r_bergen or email her at rachel.bergen@cbc.ca.

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