Big snake in Regina park harmless, expert says

People are asked to be on the lookout for a 1.5-metre long snake that slithered into a Regina park — alarming a picnicker.

People are asked to be on the lookout for a 1.5-metre long snake that slithered into a Regina park — alarming a picnicker.

It's a bull snake, one of Canada's biggest varieties, and can grow up to two metres long.

One was spotted by several people in Queen Elizabeth Park in the city's south side on Tuesday.

One Regina woman posted on Facebook that the snake wriggled past her picnic blanket.

Another woman told CBC News she called several agencies trying to get someone to capture the snake, but couldn't get anyone to come out.

Bull snakes are constrictors — snakes that wrap around their prey and squeeze — but are non-venomous and aren't considered dangerous to humans.

"If you bug a snake you might get bit, but these guys are completely harmless," said Ray Poulin, the head of research and collections with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum.

"They're not dangerous in any way. The only species of venomous snakes we have in Canada are rattle snakes. If it's not rattling, it's completely harmless."

Poulin says it's very rare to see a bull snake in Regina — they're usually found in big river valleys like the ones along the South Saskatchewan River.

He said he has no idea how the snake made its way into the city.

"Maybe it came through a water system... they do that," he said.

"Maybe it hitched a ride in someone's camper when they were camping in Sask. Landing, maybe it's an escaped pet. Often snakes that are found where they're not supposed to be are escapees."

Poulin, who studies snakes as part of his job, asks anyone who sees the critter to contact the museum.