Nova Scotia

Halifax ball python search continues as apartment torn apart

A wildlife expert tasked with capturing a snake in a Halifax apartment building says he knows where it is and insists the missing ball python poses little risk to people.

Snake poses little risk, says Terry MacLeod of Nuisance Wildlife

The warning was posted in this building. (CBC)

A wildlife expert demolished the walls of a Halifax apartment where a snake went missing Thursday, but did not find the ball python. 

The landlord at 2327 Brunswick Street said Terry MacLeod of Nuisance Wildlife worked late into the night, ripping out the walls and other parts of the unit. He was to return to the search 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," building owner CAPREIT said in a letter to tenants. 

MacLeod said earlier he knew where the snake was and that the missing ball python poses little risk to people.

Tenants in one of the buildings were originally warned to be on the lookout for a constrictor and not leave pets or infants alone until it was caught. It was later determined the snake was a ball python, a commonly kept pet snake that's about one metre long.

There are hundreds of apartment residents, and some on the sixth, seventh and eighth floors who were alarmed when they received a notice under their doors warning of a loose snake in the building.

"We just went to the office and they told us not to freak out, but why send a letter and then tell us not to freak out?" said tenant Kim Martin.

"You know what, if I had a baby? My cat's going to be there all by itself all day."

MacLeod downplayed the risk. 

"It's not a dangerous snake. A little three-year-old could play with this young snake. It's like a garter snake out there in your yard, you know, that we all played with when we were younger kids. But it's contained in the room, and it fed two days ago and it may not feed for another few weeks."

MacLeod hopes he'll be able to find the snake by Friday afternoon. 

News of exotic snake species has been in the spotlight since two New Brunswick boys were killed last year after an African rock python escaped from its cage in a pet store in a building where the boys were sleeping.