Slippery thieves escape with 5ft snake from Keynsham animal park
A 5ft long red-tailed boa constrictor has been stolen from an animal park in Keynsham.
The reptile shed at Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park was broken into at some point last night and the snake was taken from its tank.
It is believed the creature is worth up to £500 and it is likely that the thief had spotted during an earlier visit and decided to go back and steal it.
Mandy Wide, office manager at the park, said the snake, which is breeding age, needed to be looked after by an experienced handler and would now be getting hungry.
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She said: “It was due to be fed, because it only gets fed every couple of weeks.
“I know they do strike, but it is about 5ft long so I don’t think it would be threatening to humans.”
She added that the park’s rabbits and guinea pigs were housed close to the reptile shed, but they were all accounted for this morning so it is not believed the boa constrictor was released into the wild.
The park has also made inquiries with local pet stores to see if anyone has tried to sell the snake, but nothing has turned up so far.
Owner John Douglas appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
He said: “The snake had lived here at the park for nearly two years and was a firm favourite with the kids because of his quite large size. We are very eager to get him back.”
Boa constrictors are non-poisonous snakes, native to tropical Central and South America. They can grow up to 13ft long and are well-known for squeezing their prey until it suffocates.
They can eat almost anything they can catch, including birds, monkeys, and wild pigs in the wild. Their jaws can stretch wide to swallow large prey whole.
Anyone who is offered the snake for sale or who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area last night should contact Avon and Somerset Police on the non-emergency number 101.